Recovery from a punctured lung varies based on the severity of the injury and the overall health of the patient. Some people fully recover quickly, while others may have lingering problems such as depression, shortness of breath, fatigue or muscle weakness, according to WebMD.
The best outcomes typically occur in younger people and those with few chronic health problems. Some lung injuries heal on their own. In serious cases of lung injury, as in a pneumothorax where air leaks into the space between the lungs and chest wall, treatment may require the removal of excess air through a needle, syringe or suction tube, states Mayo Clinic. The lung injury may also require insertion of a chest tube. A doctor is the best source to treat the injury, advise steps for recovery and determine how long it may take to heal.