Can Healthy Lungs “Collapse”?

My last blog entry talked about costochondritis, a common frustrating but benign cause of chest pain in young people. Today I would like to talk about a much less common but potentially far more serious cause of chest pain in young adults- pneumothorax, more commonly known as a “collapsed lung”. If images of television’s Dr. McDreamy dramatically inserting a chest tube into an ER patient pop up in your head, please keep in mind that this medical issue only occurs in just over 1 in 100,000 people in the United States per year. In my private clinical practice, I saw … Read more

Chest Pain in a Teen or Twenty-Something?

In otherwise healthy young adults, chest pain is rarely a serious medical problem. The vast majority of the time, chest pain is coming from the chest WALL, not the heart- which is typically the concern of the patient or his/her family. This chest wall pain is medically labeled as “costochondritis.” We see this more in young females than males, most often between the ages of 20 and 40 years, though younger teenagers may have this as well.

What causes costochondritis?

Sometimes the cause is obvious, such as a new weight lifting regimen or workout routine, or perhaps after a lingering … Read more