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Characteristics of nasal injuries incurred during sports activities: Analysis of 91 patients

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August 16, 2011
by C. Ron Cannon, MD, Rob Cannon, BS, Kevin Young, MD, William Replogle, PhD, Scott Stringer, MD, and Elizabeth Gasson, RN, MSN


Nasal injuries are among the most common sports injuries. We conducted a prospective, observational study of 91 patients, aged 7 to 60 years (mean: 18.3), who had sustained a nasal injury while engaging in a sport, exercise, or other recreational physical activity. We found that a substantial proportion of these injuries occurred in females (29.7% of cases). A high percentage of injuries (86.8%) occurred in those who had been participating in a noncontact sport; the sport most often implicated was basketball (26.4%). Also, injuries were more common during organized competition as opposed to recreational play (59.3 vs. 40.7%). Of the 91 nasal injuries, 59 (64.8%) were fractures, most of which were treated with a closed reduction. Almost all of the patients in this study (92.3%) were able to return to their sport. We conclude that most sports-related nasal fractures are not preventable.

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