It is not uncommon for the nose to be first point of contact during any form of facial trauma. There are two broad structures that can be affected: the bony upper part of the nose and the cartilaginous septum or lower part of the nose.
When an injury first occurs, there is bruising, bleeding and swelling that makes it hard to assess whether any of these structures have been broken and are out of position. After a 2-5 days, if there is a clear distortion of the nose or the persistent inability to breathe through the nose then an ENT review is wise. In the first 21 days it is possible to have simple procedure to manipulate the bones (and/or the septum). This manipulation is performed under anesthesia in a hospital as day patient and involves either no incisions or a small incision on the septum only. Repositioning the bones and cartilage structures will allow them to heal very close to their original position. This usually results in excellent cosmesis and function. If the bones and cartilage are allowed to heal in the distorted position, then a formal rhinoplasty or open nasal reconstruction will be required later to correct it. (hyperlink to Rhinoplasty section)
Broken nose (prior to acute surgery)
Broken nose (after acute surgery)