Skip to Main Content

Condition/Disorder Synonyms

  • Collapsed lung

  • Spontaneous pneumothorax

  • Pneumothoraces (plural form of disorder)

ICD-9-CM Codes

  • 512.0 Pneumothorax and air leak

  • 860 Traumatic pneumothorax and hemothorax

Associated Physical Therapy Diagnoses

  • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue

  • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities

  • 786.05 Shortness of breath

ICD-10-CM Codes

  • J93.0 Spontaneous tension pneumothorax

  • J93.11 Primary spontaneous pneumothorax

  • J93.12 Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax

  • J93.81 Chronic pneumothorax

  • J93.82 Other air leak

  • J93.83 Other pneumothorax

  • J93.9 Pneumothorax, unspecified

  • J95.811 Postprocedural pneumothorax

  • J95.812 Postprocedural air leak

  • S21.309A Unspecified open wound of unspecified front wall of thorax with penetration into thoracic cavity, initial encounter

  • S27.0XXA Traumatic pneumothorax, initial encounter

  • S27.1XXA Traumatic hemothorax, initial encounter

  • S27.2XXA Traumatic hemopneumothorax, initial encounter

Preferred Practice Patterns1

Key Features


  • Collapsed lung occurs from air in the region around the lung

  • Pressure on the lung prevents expansion of the lung with inhalation

  • Chest pain with breathing

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Spontaneous pneumothorax (PTX) can occur with no etiology

  • Focal area of absent breath sounds2

  • Iatrogenic PTX4

    • From a complication from a diagnostic or treatment procedure

  • Tension PTX4

    • Air enters the pleural space but can not escape

  • Primary pneumothorax

    • Unknown cause

  • Secondary pneumothorax

    • Known cause

General Considerations

  • Can be caused by

    • Rib fracture

    • Gunshot wound

    • Penetration trauma into the lung

  • Can be life threatening

  • May need a chest tube


  • More common in tall and thin individuals

  • Spontaneously in newborns and in older children

  • Males (16 to 24) with high risk trauma activities3

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden shortness of breath2

  • Focal area of absent breath sounds2

  • Chest pain; worsens with deep breath or cough

  • Cyanosis

  • Fatigue

  • Increased heart rate

  • Decreased oxygenation throughout the body

  • Nasal flaring

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

  • Chest tightness

  • Raising shoulders allows increased lung air flow

  • Tensed muscles from dyspnea

Functional Implications

  • If spontaneous pneumothorax, patient prohibited from air travel until completely healed

  • Disabling dyspnea when performing simple tasks

    • Arm elevation to reach into cabinet

    • Decreased exercise tolerance

    • Inability to function at work secondary to respiratory problems

Possible Contributing Causes

  • Having had a previous pneumothorax

  • Rib fracture

  • Gunshot to lungs

  • Puncture wound to lungs

  • Lung rupture (small region)

  • Acute complication of tracheostomy2

  • Asthma

  • Measles

  • Congenital malformation

  • Smoking

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Tuberculosis

  • Whooping cough

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.