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ICD-9-CM Codes

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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

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Associated Physical Therapy Diagnoses

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  • 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

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ICD-10-CM Codes

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  • 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

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Preferred Practice Pattern

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As of February 2013, 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.

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Key Features

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Description

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

  • Impaired absorption of nutrients in gastrointestinal tract

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

  • May be acute, post-operative, 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 recurring immune response, inflammation of GI tract

    • Ulcerative colitis

    • Crohn's disease

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Essentials of Diagnosis

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  • Intraluminal abnormalities 1

  • Mucosal abnormalities 1

  • Vascular abnormalities 1

  • Metabolic genetic disease 1

  • Abdominal pain (constant or intermittent)

  • Abdominal tenderness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting1

  • Changes in bowel habits: diarrhea, constipation

  • Bloating

  • Possible rectal bleeding

  • Rectal irritation

  • Acute drop in blood pressure, may result in decreased blood flow to intestines

  • Inability to swallow

  • Lack of appetite

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Abdominal pain upon ingesting food

  • Possible joint pain

  • Dark stool or bright red blood in stool

  • Malaise, fatigue

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General Considerations

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  • Broad array of GI disorders may be encountered by physical therapists

  • While PT may not manage GI disorders specifically, clients may receive care for secondary problems: weakness, gait abnormalities, limited aerobic endurance, musculoskeletal problems, neuromuscular problems, weight loss or weight gain

  • Diagnosis for occult problems may take time and require intensive diagnostic testing

  • GI disorders frequently refer pain to other body areas; individuals may be inappropriately referred to PT

  • GI problems commonly related to stress or constipation

  • More serious problems include autoimmune conditions like Crohn's

  • Acute pain indicative of appendicitis

  • GI complaints in females may indicate cancer/tumors in reproductive organs, or gynecological problems: endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ectopic pregnancies

  • May indicate inguinal or umbilical hernia

  • History of heartburn/indigestion may indicate GI or cardiac ...

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