Pneumothorax

Spontaneous and traumatic pneumothorax can occur in the setting of sports. Spontaneous pneumothorax should be suspected in tall, thin male athletes with the acute onset of dyspnea, pleuritic chest pain, and shortness of breath. Traumatic pneumothorax should be considered when an athlete is short of breath after sustaining a blow to the chest, particularly if a rib fracture is suspected (Partridge et al., 1997). Diagnosis is confirmed by chest radiograph, and treatment depends on the amount of lung involved. If the patient is stable and there is less than 15% to 20% volume loss, this can generally be treated with observation. Return to play after a pneumothorax can usually occur safely in 3 to 4 weeks (Putukian, 2004).

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