To compare the efficacy of closed vs open treatment of nasal fractures, and to suggest an algorithm for nasal fracture management that includes closed and open techniques.
Retrospective study of 86 patients with nasal fractures who received either closed treatment (41 patients) or open treatment (45 patients) between January 1, 1997, and December 30, 2007. Fractures were classified as 1 of 5 types. Revision rates were calculated for each group. Preoperative and postoperative photographs were rated, if available, and patients were interviewed about aesthetic, functional, and quality of life issues related to surgical treatment.
The revision rate for all fractures was 6%. The revision rate for closed vs open treatment was 2% vs 9%, respectively. Many closed treatment cases were classified as type II fractures, whereas most open treatment cases were classified as type IV fractures. There was no statistical difference in revision rate, patient satisfaction, or surgeon photographic evaluation scores between the closed and open treatment groups when fractures were treated in the recommended fashion.
Patients who undergo open or closed treatment have similar outcomes if the surgical approach is well matched to the individual fracture. Our treatment algorithm provided consistent aesthetic and functional results while minimizing the need for revision procedures.