What is the treatment? The treatment for pneumothorax is highly dependent upon the size of the collapse as well as physical symptoms. Larger or recurrent collapses may require chest tube placement to re-inflate the lung, and/or surgical intervention to prevent additional lung collapses.
BOTTOM LINE: Most sharp chest pains in otherwise healthy young adults are NOT from the lungs, but partially collapsed lungs do occur and are not always dramatic. See your doctor if you have any concerns about your chest pains, even if you are not short of breath (and even if you are otherwise young and healthy.)