I play a lot of basketball and my nose got hit badly but I’m not sure if it was fractured. There was some swelling right after the injury. But now, about 5 months after, I can’t breathe easily and my face is painful and I get congested a lot.

Hi thanks for your question.  A ball hit to the upper face can fracture the delicate bones around the sinuses, eye sockets, and bridge of the nose or cheek bones. It can be difficult to determine if you’ve fractured your nose after the injury described.    The adrenaline rush you feel during a hard game of basketball can make it hard to be sensitive to your body’s cues.  The symptoms you shared (the swelling, breathing problems, congestion and the pain) can point to a possible nose fracture requiring nose surgery.  Of all these symptoms, you should be concerned about congestion which could come from persistent drainage from one or both nostrils.  This could be cerebrospinal fluid draining from the brain to the nose, which can happen after an injury to the head.  It is best to have an x-ray taken of the nose after a thorough physical exam; if there are other suspected fractures, a CT scan is in order.