Efficacy of external fixation following nasal manipulation under local anaesthesia

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Nasal fractures are one of the commonest reasons for patients being referred to ENT departments, but few studies have been published about the management of this condition. In particular, the efficacy of external splintage following manipulation has not been assessed. This was a prospective randomized study, which examined the results of manipulation under local anaesthetic and the benefit to be gained from external fixation with Plaster of Paris (POP) following this procedure. Accurate measurements of the degree of deviation of the nose pre- and post-manipulation were obtained using a camera mounted on a specially designed frame. Thirty-three out of 241 consecutive patients seen at a research clinic over the course of 12 months were included in the study. The mean deviation of the nasal bridge at presentation was 4.12 mm. Manipulation under local anaesthetic significantly improved the degree of deviation (mean 2.47 mm, P = 0.0011, 90% CI, 1-2 mm). Randomization of the patients, following manipulation, into POP/none-POP groups showed that external splintage of the nose appeared to be of little practical benefit.

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