Case Report  |   January 2019
Dry Needling–Induced Pneumothorax
Author Notes
  • From the Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Illinois (Student Doctor N. Patel and Dr Poustinchian), and Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group in Winfield, Illinois (Drs M. Patel and Poustinchian). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Niyati Patel, OMS IV, Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, 555 31st St, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1235. Email: npatel43@midwestern.edu
     
Article Information
Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders / Pulmonary Disorders
Case Report   |   January 2019
Dry Needling–Induced Pneumothorax
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2019, Vol. 119, 59-62. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.009
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 2019, Vol. 119, 59-62. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.009
Abstract

Dry needling is a widely used alternative therapy for musculoskeletal disorders, such as myofascial pain. The procedure involves placing a solid monofilament needle into myofascial trigger points or connective tissue to relieve pain. Some of the complications secondary to this procedure include cardiac tamponade, hematoma, infection, nerve injury, and pneumothorax. Although the incidence is low, the complications can be potentially life threatening. We present the case of a 44-year-old man who had dry needling of the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, rhomboid, and paraspinal muscles with subsequent development of a left apical pneumothorax. Given that the pneumothorax was small, the patient had good recovery with supplemental oxygen. Although the incidence of pneumothorax is very low, it is an important diagnosis to consider for a patient presenting with dry cough, malaise, chest pain, or shortness of breath after a dry needling procedure. Patients should be made aware of these potential complications as part of an informed consent.

Subscribe to view more

For full access to this article, log in to an existing user account, purchase an annual subscription, or purchase a short-term subscription.

Order a subscription

Subscribe

Pay Per View

Entire Journal
30-Day Access

$50.00

Buy Now

This Issue
7-Day Access

$25.00

Buy Now

This article
24-Hour Access

$10.00

Buy Now

Sign In Or Create an account

Please sign in using your Osteopathic.org login.
If you do not have an AOA login, you may create a new account.

Or Subscribe