Treating Sports Injuries of the Nose
Sports can be a great activity for adults and kids alike, but there are some risks associated with nearly every sport, particularly contacts sports. Injuries are common, and while most are relatively minor, some can lead to disfigurement or other problems, particularly if the injury is to the nose. Breathing problems can result from sports injuries, and many people suffer aesthetic changes if the injury is severe enough. If you’ve suffered from a sports injury to your nose, then you might be wondering what your options are. The good news is that rhinoplasty (nasal surgery) is a very effective way to help repair the function and aesthetics of the nose. Before you seek surgery, however, there are a few things you need to consider.
Nasal injuries can occur on the field or court in many ways. Getting hit in the face with an elbow, fist, knee, ball, or other equipment is always a risk, and the most common serious sports-related nasal injury involves some type of nasal breakage. This can cause permanent crookedness, breathing problems, or other issues. Soft tissue injuries can also occur. It is important to use safety equipment properly to help avoid injury, but it’s not always possible to prevent nasal trauma.
Age of the Patient
When it comes to repairing nasal injuries, it is not always advisable if the patient is a child. This is because the nose matures very slowly, and normal growth following surgery can ruin the results of the procedure, necessitating a second surgery later on. Obviously, it would be best if children did not become injured in the first place, but in the event that a major sports injury affects a child’s nose, rhinoplasty may need to wait until at least the mid to late teens. Girls’ noses tend to mature more quickly than boys, typically about 1-2 years faster. There is no upper age limit for rhinoplasty reconstruction as long as the patient is healthy enough for elective surgery.
Naturally, athletes are passionate about their sports, and a nasal injury won’t stop the majority of players from getting back out there. If you are an active athlete and are considering treatment for a nasal injury, you might want to consider waiting until you have backed off from playing sports. This is because there is always the potential for re-injury, and having a second rhinoplasty is never ideal. Nasal surgery gets more difficult with each procedure, so it is important to minimize the possibility of needing a second rhinoplasty if possible.
The Procedure and Recovery
Rhinoplasty, especially reconstructive rhinoplasty, is a highly custom procedure that can involve a number of different techniques, which may include breaking and re-setting the nasal bones, cartilage grafting, and more. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, and the procedure typically takes one to two hours, though more complex cases can take longer to complete.
Recovery does involve swelling, bruising, and some discomfort, which can be controlled with medication. The initial healing process takes about two weeks, with residual swelling resolving gradually over the months following surgery. Patients will have activity restrictions initially, and will have to be cautious about keeping the nose out of harm’s way for the first several months after surgery. Full healing can take up to 18 months to complete.
Can’t pay for the whole procedure up front? Don’t worry—most patients can’t. Nearly every plastic surgeon accepts some kind of financing plan, and many of these involve a low interest rate. Investing in your reconstruction can be beneficial to your quality of life and self-esteem, which is an important point to consider when deciding whether to move forward.
Finding the Right Surgeon
Often, the biggest challenge of repairing the nose following a sports injury is finding the right rhinoplasty surgeon. While thousands of people each year enjoy the results of their rhinoplasty procedure, others find themselves dissatisfied, often because of a lack of proper planning and research. It is extremely important to find a skilled, board certified facial plastic surgeon you can trust and connect with.
The way you will find this surgeon is by scheduling and attending consultations with prospective providers. These meetings allow you to discuss your goals for surgery, ask specific questions, develop rapport, and get advice about your procedure.
If you would like to speak with a dedicated facial plastic surgeon in Southern California, then come to Batniji Facial Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach (949-650-8882) or Beverly Hills (310-467-2180) and meet with acclaimed specialist Dr. Rami K. Batniji. Dr. Batniji is an accomplished facial surgeon with double board certification, a great deal of experience, and an artistic hand. For more information and to schedule your consultation, call either location today.