MUA (Manipulation Under Anaesthesia) of fractured nose


Trauma to a nose may cause a shift of the nasal bones. This may cause an obvious deformity of the nose “bent nose” and some degree of nasal blockage.

It is best to reassess the situation about a week after the injury, when most of the swelling has settled.
Fractured nasal bones heal about 2-3 weeks following trauma. There is more chance of a successful manipulation (moving) the fractured nasal bones back to the original position in the second week following the injury.

The aim of the surgery is to correct the nasal deformity back to its original shape and improve the nasal blockage symptom caused by the fracture.

MUA (Manipulation Under Anaesthesia) of fractured nose - the Surgery

The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia. It involves manipulation or pushing and slipping of the nasal bones back to their original position.

On occasions, the surgeon may use surgical instruments in order to improve the cosmetic result or to correct nasal septal “nose partition” deformity.

Complications of MUA of fractured nose

There are rarely significant surgical complications.

  1. Bleeding- There is a small risk of bleeding if there is a need to use surgical instruments. Even then, only a small minority of patients may require any form of nasal packing
  2. Infection- a very rare complication. Even then, more likely if there is also a laceration or a cut to the skin of the nose
  3. Nasal deformity- there may be a remnant deformity or even no cosmetic improvement after the operation. This is more likely if there has been any previous nasal trauma or surgery.

Expectations and advice following surgery

Correction of your nasal deformity is more likely if the surgery is performed before the bones heal and if the deformity is significant in the first place.

  • There may be a splint or a plaster placed on the nose if the bones appear unstable after the operation. If so, this is usually removed at the clinic after 1 week to 10 days

  • You may get a small blood stained nasal discharge for 10 days

  • Avoid contact sports or nose injury for 6 weeks

  • Do not drive for 48 hours (because of the effect of the general anaesthetic)

  • You may return to work/school the day after the surgery

  • The swelling/bruising will settle slowly over 6 weeks after the surgery. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your surgery, after this time, please contact your GP. If your GP feels appropriate, we will review the situation in the ENT outpatient department

  • If appropriate, you may then be offered a relatively more significant surgery such as rhinoplasty or septorhinoplasty to improve the appearance and function of your nose.

Please note that the details in this section are for general information only. You should always discuss the risks, limitations and complications of your specific operation with your surgeon.