This study was conducted to investigate the vulnerability of the nasal bones following rhinoplasty. The incidence of nasal bone fracture in the general population was reviewed from the data available from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NCHS report indicates an average of 51,200 nasal bone fractures each year for an average yearly population of 239,328,200 over a 5-year period for the United States, producing an average rate of 0.021 percent per year. The history of 1121 patients who had undergone routine rhiboplasty or septorhinoplasty on an elective basis was then investigated for possible fractures following rhinoplasty. Of this group, 24 patients (16 females and 8 males) sustained a total of 28 nasal bone fractures following rhinoplasty over a mean follow-up period of 4 years. This yields an actual or crude rate of 0.624 percent per year, as compared with the agestandardized rate of 0.485 percent, according to the indirect adjustment method.
The time interval between the first nasal procedure and subsequent fracture varied greatly, spanning from 1 month to 6 years. The average time interval between the frist nasal procedure and the subsequent fracture for 16 patients was less than 1 year. Over 70 percent of the patient population (n = 17) who sustained postrhinoplasty fracture were under 30 years old at the time of the fracture.
On the basis of the study, it was concluded that the incidence of nasal bone fracture following rhinoplasty (0.624 percent actual and 0.485 percent adjusted) is higher than that of fracture in the general population (0.021 percent (p < 0.001). (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 93: 313, 1994.)