Rhinoliths are calcareous masses which are occasionally found in the nose. They may be found in one side only or they may be bilateral.
The deposit of salts, chiefly calcium and magnesium carbonates and phosphates,takes place around a nucleus which may be organic or inorganic and the nucleus may be a foreign body or merely dried secretions of the blood and mucus.
Their presence must be considered in any long standing cases of nasal discharge.
These are nasal obstruction and discharge, but if the rhinoliths have been present for some time they may give rise to considerable destruction of the nasal mucosa with the formation of sequestra of cartilage or bone,and the development of an extremely unpleasant odour.
Rhinoliths may attain a considerable size and are often irregular in shape. The diagnosis is usually easily made by inspection, but if there is any doubt Palpation with a problem will disclose the rough hard object.
The treatment is removal under General anaesthesia.
The rhinoliths may be too large to remove in a single piece and it may require to be broken with a strong pair of forceps before removal in fragments.
There is a brisk haemorrhage during the removal, and this may require packing with ribbon gauze for 2-4 hours.