Contact sports can be a great way to get exercise and blow off some steam in a cooperative and exciting way. They are an outlet for both the participants and the spectators, and are an extremely popular pastime for people all over the world. However, there are some inherent risks involved with contact sports, as injuries are common and often unavoidable. The nose, as a prominent facial feature, is especially susceptible to bumps, breaks, and other injuries. Unfortunately, these injuries can have significant effects on the aesthetics and function of not only the nose, but the face overall. If you are involved in any contact sport, you should be aware of the risks, but some sports are much more likely to yield facial injuries than others. So which sports are especially risky for nose injuries?
Types of Nasal Injuries
Most of the serious nasal injuries that result from participation in sports involve a broken nose. However, each situation and each break is unique, and it depends on the nature of the injury as to how severe it is. Some breaks are simply aesthetic in nature, and the issues are nothing more than cosmetic, which bother some people more than others. However, breaks can also affect the function of the nose, and often involve both aesthetic and functional symptoms. Breaks that affect the function of the nose can make breathing difficult, and some severe breaks can cause a septal hematoma, a collection of blood in the nasal septum that can be very dangerous and should be seen to immediately. With any kind of suspected nasal injury, medical attention should be sought at once to avoid any serious complications and improve the outlook for repair. The following are just some of the issues that can occur following a broken nose:
- Difficulty breathing
- Deviated septum
- Blocked nostrils from septal hematoma
- A “dip” in the nasal bridge
High Risk Sports
While any kind of sport involves risk for injury, there are some sports that are more likely to cause nasal injuries than others. These include:
- American Football
Collisions are common and even encouraged in these sports, which results in a high number of broken noses. Participants should take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to the nose, however, it’s not possible to prevent all injury during contact sports.
Children and Sports
While great care is usually taken in children’s sports programs to protect their safety, it is always possible for injury to occur. When a nasal injury occurs in children, unfortunately, it is difficult to do anything except set the nose and allow it to heal, with surgery taking place later on. The nose continues to grow until the mid-teens, and nasal surgery is not performed on children younger than 15 except when absolutely necessary, as the results will not last and a second, more difficult surgery will be required.
Rhinoplasty for Repair
Rhinoplasty is a versatile and effective procedure that can be used to address any number of cosmetic or functional issues in the nose following injury. Using a variety of surgical techniques, surgeons can straighten a crooked nose, improve breathing, fix a deviated septum, and improve many other problems. The surgery itself is fairly involved and custom, but should take no more than a few hours. Initial recovery takes about two weeks, but strenuous exercise and sports should be avoided for several months. Patients can expect vast improvement, but should not expect perfection from the procedure, as the nose will never look quite the same as it did pre-injury.
Find a Specialist
Rhinoplasty is an extremely difficult and complex procedure that involves an enormous amount of skill and flexibility. It is imperative to choose a specialist who is dedicated to the art and science of rhinoplasty, preferably focusing on the procedure alone, or at least solely facial plastic surgery. Fortunately, there are many talented surgeons in the United States, and you should be able to find the right surgeon for you.
Dr. Shervin Naderi is a highly regarded specialist in the rhinoplasty field, and often takes on difficult referral procedures. Dr. Naderi focuses nearly his entire practice on rhinoplasty, and works to give each patient a beautiful, natural result that is in harmony with the rest of the facial features. For more information about nasal surgery with Dr. Naderi, call the Naderi Center in Herndon, VA (703-481-0002) or Chevy Chase, MD (301-222-2020) to schedule your consultation.