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  • 579 Intestinal malabsorption

  • 579.0 Celiac disease

  • 579.1 Tropical sprue

  • 579.2 Blind loop syndrome

  • 579.3 Other and unspecified postsurgical nonabsorption

  • 579.4 Pancreatic steatorrhea

  • 579.8 Other specified intestinal malabsorption

  • 579.9 Unspecified intestinal malabsorption

  • Associated physical therapy diagnoses

    • 315.4 Developmental coordination disorder

    • 718.45 Contracture of joint, pelvic region and thigh

    • 719.70 Difficulty in walking

    • 728.2 Muscular wasting and disuse atrophy

    • 728.89 Disorders of muscle, ligament, and fascia

    • 729.9 Other and unspecified disorders of soft tissue

    • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue

    • 781.2 Abnormality of gait

    • 782.3 Edema

    • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities

    • 786.05 Shortness of breath




  • K90.1 Tropical sprue

  • K90.2 Blind loop syndrome, not elsewhere classified

  • K90.3 Pancreatic steatorrhea

  • K90.4 Malabsorption due to intolerance, not elsewhere classified

  • K90.89 Other intestinal malabsorption

  • K90.9 Intestinal malabsorption, unspecified

  • K91.2 Postsurgical malabsorption, not elsewhere classified




As of July, 2014, the APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice does not include practice patterns for organ system pathology. Therefore, the associated or secondary musculoskeletal, cardiovascular/pulmonary, or potential neuromuscular patterns would be indicated.



The patient is a 47-year-old male who presents to the clinic with increasing difficulty in ambulating and poor tolerance for activity. He presents to the outpatient facility with a referral from his primary care physician for gait training and conditioning. The patient appears very cachectic with pale skin and sunken eyes. The patient stands and sits with a slumped kyphotic posture. He reports malaise and fatigue with small bouts of activity and appears to be depressed. In addition, the patient reports he has no appetite, and when he does eat he feels bloated and nauseous.

Upon physical therapy examination, the patient’s mobility status is modified independent due to decreased speed and general joint discomfort. He can only ambulate for 45 m before he needs to sit and rest. Bilateral upper extremity and lower extremity strength is 3+/5 proximally and 4/5 distally. Joint range of motion is full with inconsistent achy discomfort. Sensory is fully intact. Performance on the functional strength and endurance tests (30-second chair stand and the 6-minute walk) results in significantly below-average scores for his age. The patient requires several sitting rest periods during the 6-minute walk test. His Borg scale perceived exertion grade during the 6-minute walk is “very hard.” During pulmonary testing the patient demonstrated poor maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures and a weak cough ability revealing weakness of his diaphragmatic and respiratory musculature.




  • Malabsorption: Decreased absorption of fat and other nutrients caused by liver, biliary, pancreatic, or intestinal disease1

  • Impaired absorption of nutrients in gastrointestinal (GI) tract

  • Symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea resulting from malabsorption

  • May be acute, postoperative, chronic, viral, bacterial, congenital/hereditary

  • Complaints of change in bowel habits (constipation, urgency, incontinence, cramping)

  • Referred pain in low back

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD): Chronic or ...

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