How to Splint a Broken Nose

Updated July 18, 2017

When you have a broken nose there is a break or crack in the bone over the bridge of your nose or in another bone in the nose. Your nose can be bent to the side or crooked as a result of a break. If the break is minor, you may not need a splint. But in many cases you'll need to have your nose realigned and have a plaster cast or a lead splint put on your nose.

Realign the broken nose. If the break moved the bones and cartilage, your doctor will attempt to manually realign them with a non-surgical procedure called "closed reduction." You will be given a local pain medication, such as an injection or a nasal spray. Your doctor will then use a nasal speculum to open your nostrils and realign the bones and cartilage to their proper position. For severe breaks, multiple breaks or where breaks were left untreated for more than 2 weeks, rhinoplasty (nose surgery) may be needed to realign the broken nose. If the break damaged your nasal septum or if there is an obstruction that causes you difficulty breathing, reconstructive surgery, or "septorhinoplasty," may be performed.

Mold a plaster cast. Your doctor will do this by moulding eight thicknesses of plaster bandage into the shape of a T. Next, he'll wet the bandage and put it on your nose and forehead. When it begins to set, he will mould it to your forehead and the sides of your nose. He'll then apply two more layers of plaster bandage over the bridge of your nose to provide extra protection. If you have a lot of bleeding, your doctor may pack your nostrils with dampened gauze strips coated with an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.

Make a lead splint if the break is too severe to be held securely with a plaster bandage. Your doctor will place two lead plates on each side of the nose. He will then put a suture of a soft stainless steel wire through the nose with a straight needle to provide support.

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About the Author

Jacqueline Trovato is a published writer with more than 25 years' experience in marketing communications and public relations. She specializes in health care communications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education with a minor in psychology from James Madison University.