When Can I Play Basketball After A Rhinoplasty?

Q: Dr. Eppley, how soon after having a rhinoplasty can I play basketball. I am having a rhinoplasty in two weeks and would like to be ready to play sports again in a month after surgery. Do you think this is possible or is it too early?

A: Whether one is having a more limited tip rhinoplasty or a more complete one with osteotomies, there are always important recovery issues of which patients are understandably concerned. One of these frequent recovery issues is that of physical activity. When thinking about physical activity after rhinoplasty there are issues of being able to breathe comfortably through the nose (for exercise) and the risk of trauma to the newly reshaped nose. (participating in sports) It would be fair to say that participating in sports will be delayed longer than just non-contact exercise so let’s focus just on that issue.

The bone and cartilage of the nose takes months to heal after a rhinoplasty and that could be anywhere between three and six months after surgery. So yo can see that is a long time and many people simply aren’t going to wait that long. Thus it is all about assessing the risks of being hit in the nose based on the activity being done. If you are just shooting a basketball by itself, then three to four weeks afterwards should be fine. But if you are playing in a team situation where contact my be likely, it is all a gamble for many months after surgery. Getting hit in the nose within three to six months after a rhinoplasty will likely cause undesirable changes so that is a risk you will have to determine if it is worth  it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana