Sports can be a great way to have fun, let off steam, and even make a living if you are lucky. However, there are definitely some risks involved with any sporting event, particularly heavy contact sports, such as boxing. If you are involved with boxing with people instead of punching bags, then you may be at risk for nasal or ear injuries. For this reason, many boxers are forced to seek help from facial plastic surgeons eventually. So what kinds of boxing injuries are common, and how can rhinoplasty (nose-reshaping surgery) help?
Nasal Boxing Injuries
Because of the prominence of the nose, it is extremely prone to injury in contact sports like boxing. Unfortunately, boxing tends to involve the same kinds of injuries over and over again. It is nearly inevitable for regular boxers to have broken noses and other problems at some point during their careers. These can build up over time in compound injuries, making the nose more fragile.
Nasal injuries are so common among boxers that there is a deformity named after the sport: boxer’s nose. This deformity is more often known as “saddle nose”, and it involves the collapse of the middle part of the bridge, making the nose have a saddle shape. Other common issues involve various kinds of fractures, which can cause a number of aesthetic and functional problems.
Rhinoplasty as Treatment
Fortunately, there is a solution for many nasal injuries and deformities: plastic surgery. Rhinoplasty is a versatile procedure for reshaping the nose that is often used for former boxers. Plastic surgeons break and re-set the nasal bones, graft cartilage, and re-structure the nose. Rhinoplasty can produce great improvement in facial aesthetics when performed by a qualified surgeon. Recovery from the procedure takes about two weeks initially, with swelling resolving slowly over the months following treatment.
Of course, there are precautions put into place when it comes to young boxers in order to prevent injury as much as possible. However, it is impossible to avoid injury in every instance, and nasal injuries in young boxers will occur from time to time. Unfortunately, rhinoplasty is a procedure designed for a mature nose, and young people cannot undergo the procedure until their mid to late teens, to allow the nose to finish growing. For this reason, temporary measures may need to be put into place before rhinoplasty at a later date. Only a doctor can assess each individual situation and make a recommendation for treatment.
Tips on Timing
Because there is a large amount of potential for injury to the nose from boxing at any time, boxers may want to consider waiting until they have retired from the ring before pursuing nose reshaping surgery. Re-injury is extremely common, and it can undo all the work the rhinoplasty accomplished. Rhinoplasty is an expensive and difficult surgery, and it gets progressively more so with each subsequent procedure. Rhinoplasty also inevitably weakens the nasal structure, making re-injury common. Having more than one rhinoplasty is not recommended, if at all possible to avoid, so boxers should consider the timing of their nasal reconstruction accordingly and possibly postpone surgery for a few years until they have stopped participating in the sport.
Choosing an Expert
When it comes to rhinoplasty, you do not want to skimp on choosing the right provider. Nasal surgery is extremely difficult, and requires the skills of an expert facial plastic surgeon. Because of this, you should only consider board certified specialists with many years of experience to perform the procedure. Choosing a facial plastic surgeon is not the time to be making a decision solely on price.
If you are looking into options in the Boston area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), and meet with acclaimed rhinoplasty specialist Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who has been specializing in rhinoplasty for over 20 years. He has fixed many saddle deformities. For more information, call either location today to schedule your consultation.