Soccer is known to be one of the most interesting, fun-packed, and rewarding contact sports in history—although it is often accompanied by numerous risks. People who engage in the sport are prone to different degrees of injuries.
Injuries in soccer might either result from a collision with other players on the field, a collision with sporting equipment, a fall, or even a direct impact from fast-traveling soccer balls.
One of the rare injuries that can be sustained from a direct hit to the face from fast-traveling soccer balls is a broken nose. Aside from beach soccer balls, balls used in other forms of soccer are capable of causing this injury.
Although there are very few cases on record where balls broke soccer players’ noses, the possibility is always there for a ball traveling at a high speed. An unexpected shot to the face can inflict severe injuries like a broken or bleeding nose.
Nasal fractures are most common in baseball, and many variants of soccer range ranging from futsal, association football, street soccer, and indoor soccer. It occurs when the cartilage or bone over the nose’s bridge shifts or cracks due to a hit from an external body, a fall, or a collision.
One of the severe consequences of a broken nose is difficulty in breathing—which can be potentially life-threatening if nothing is done fast.
In this article, we will walk you through the possibility of soccer balls breaking a player’s nose with real-life occurrences.
We also discussed other resulting injuries, the treatment, and safety precautions that can be followed to avoid such injuries from occurring.
Can a soccer ball break your nose?
Yes, a soccer ball can break your nose if you get a direct hit from it, especially when it hits you at an unexpected high speeda high speed unexpected. This is also applicable to other vulnerable parts of your body.
In fact, the facial bones mostly fractured while engaging in sports are the nasal bones and soccer accounts for about 40% of nasal injuries, one of the highest percentages on record for any sport.
History has it that in 2012 during a show in Vegas, Rod Stewart broke a fan’s nose with a soccer ball at a concert. Although he was sued, the damage was already done and he claimed the fan ought to have seen the ball coming.
While soccer players will rarely suffer a broken nose from the impact of a ball, fans are usually not so lucky. In a desperate attempt to clear their lines, defenders often balloon the ball into the crowd and the risk of hitting an unaware fan on the face is higher.
When nasal fractures occur, it is usually accompanied by severe pain, swelling, and bruises around the nose and under the eye region. The victim sometimes experiences breathing complications.
Some other symptoms of a broken nose are, bleeding, crooked nose, and mucus discharge from the nose.
Whenever players experience a nasal fracture, immediate medical attention must be administered to them to limit further complications. Some of the first aid treatments that can be administered to players with a nasal fracture include;
- The affected player should sit upright
- Check if the player’s airway is clogged, if it is, the player should breathe through the mouth
- If there is bleeding, gently apply pressure at the nose’s bridge, then put crushed ice in a towel and place it over the nose region, this helps stop the bleeding
- Clean with a clean towel any watery fluid descending from the nose
- The player should be sent to a doctor immediately after the first aid for proper alignment, treatment, and assessment of other probable injuries
What complications usually accompany a broken nose?
A broken nose can have minor or major complications. While the experience can be very painful, having pain alone is good news for the victim.
This is because a broken nose can lead to more severe complications—some of which may be life-threatening. Below are some complications associated with a broken nose.
Coagulation of blood
When a nasal fracture occurs, blood occasionally clots within the broken nose, this condition is known as a septal hematoma. To avoid cartilage damage, the septal hematoma needs immediate surgical draining.
Cartilage fracture is mostly experienced when a nasal fracture is caused by a forceful blow or hit to the nose. If the injury obtained warrants surgical treatment, then a surgeon must be contacted to properly address the issue.
This is a condition that occurs when the thin wall located between both sides of the nose called the nasal septum is displaced, this narrows the nasal passage. For correcting a deviated septum, surgery is necessary—although it can also be managed with antihistamines and decongestants.
If a broken nose stays long before being reset, swelling sets in and it takes time before the swelling goes down for the crooked nose to be properly fixed.
The broken bone starts to set when you wait for more than two weeks before fixing, making it difficult to manipulate using a simple closed reduction.
However, this and other cases like a badly displaced nose, a nose that heals poorly even when it has undergone a reset, can still be taken care of with rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty is a surgery performed to reshape the nose to repair nasal breathing and the appearance of the nose. If a professional surgeon works on a player’s broken nose, the nose will heal properly and will retain its natural appearance even after being badly deformed.
Because soccer is a high-paced contact sport, injuries are bound to happen. With this in mind, players and even fans need to be alert so they can adequately avoid the dangers that abound in soccer stadiums.
The nose is a very sensitive and fragile part of the body that must be guarded with immense caution. A little accident to the face can twist and dislocate your nose in very painful ways.
Aside from frequent collisions and tackles that are prevalent during soccer matches, fast-traveling balls can also pose injuries especially to a soccer player’s face which is the most vulnerable part of the human body.
During the healing process of broken noses, especially in severe cases where surgeries have been performed, players are often recommended to stay away from any strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks as well as stay away from soccer or any contact sport for about 6-8 weeks.
If players feel like returning to the field before the stipulated period, they must do so by collecting a clearance form from their physician and also putting on a faceguard to protect their nose from further injuries.
While on the soccer stadium, soccer players and fans alike must be vigilant for fast-traveling soccer balls in all instances. This is particularly more important for children who may not have sharp reflexes like adults.
Recall ex-England international Wayne Rooney once shot a ball towards a nine-year-old soccer fan and the ball accidentally broke the boy’s wrist. Imagine the impact it would have had if the ball hit the boy’s nose.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!