Functional and psychological impact of nasal bone fractures sustained during sports activities: A survey of 87 patients | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Functional and psychological impact of nasal bone fractures sustained during sports activities: A survey of 87 patients

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August 21, 2016
by Paul Lennon, FRCS(ORL-HNS); Sam Jaber, MRCS; John E. Fenton, FRCSI, FRCS(ORL)

Abstract

Nasal bone fractures that require reduction are a common sequela of sports injuries. We conducted a survey to ascertain the outcomes of patients who had experienced a nasal bone fracture and who subsequently underwent manipulation under anesthesia. We reviewed data on 217 nasal bone fractures that had been seen at our institution over a 3-year period. Of these, 133 (61.3%) had occurred as a result of a sports activity. Thirty of the 133 patients (22.6%) had been managed conservatively, while the other 103 (77.4%) had undergone manipulation under anesthesia. We were able to contact 87 of the 103 patients (84.5%) by telephone, who served as the study population. The most common sports associated with these 87 injuries were hurling (n = 26; 29.9%), rugby (n = 22; 25.3%), Gaelic football (n = 20; 23.0%), and soccer (n = 13; 14.9%). Patients who had undergone treatment within 2 weeks were significantly more satisfied with their outcome than were those who had been treated later (p < 0.01). Twenty-six patients (29.9%) reported that their injury had had a detrimental impact on their subsequent performance in their sport; 12 (13.8%) described a fear of reinjury when they returned to play, 7 (8.0%) experienced functional problems, 3 (3.4%) complained of diminished performance, and 4 others (4.6%) quit playing contact sports altogether. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to demonstrate that a fracture of the nasal bones may have a notable psychological impact on an athlete and that it can lead to diminished performance or a complete withdrawal from contact sports.

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