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Condition/Disorder Synonym

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

ICD-9-CM Codes

  • 540 Acute appendicitis

  • 540.0 Acute appendicitis with generalized peritonitis

  • 540.1 Acute appendicitis with peritoneal abscess

  • 540.9 Acute appendicitis without mention of peritonitis

  • 541 Appendicitis, unqualified

  • 542 Other appendicitis

  • 543.0 Hyperplasia of appendix (lymphoid)

  • 543.9 Other and unspecified diseases of appendix

Associated Physical Therapy Diagnoses

  • 315.4 Developmental coordination disorder (clumsiness, dyspraxia, and/or specific motor development disorder)

  • 718.45 Contracture of joint, pelvic region, and thigh

  • 719.70 Difficulty in walking involving joint site unspecified

  • 728.2 Muscular wasting and disuse atrophy, not elsewhere classified

  • 728.89 Other disorders of muscle, ligament, and fascia

  • 729.9 Other and unspecified disorders of soft tissue

  • 780.70 Other malaise and fatigue

  • 781.2 Abnormality of gait

  • 782.3 Edema

  • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities

ICD-10-CM Codes

  • K35.2 Acute appendicitis with generalized peritonitis

  • K35.3 Acute appendicitis with localized peritonitis

  • K35.80 Unspecified acute appendicitis

  • K35.89 Other acute appendicitis

  • K36 Other appendicitis

  • K37 Unspecified appendicitis

  • K38.0 Hyperplasia of appendix

  • K38.1 Appendicular concretions

  • K38.2 Diverticulum of appendix

  • K38.3 Fistula of appendix

  • K38.8 Other specified diseases of appendix

  • K38.9 Disease of appendix, unspecified

Preferred Practice Pattern

  • 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.

Key Features


  • Inflammation of the appendix.

  • Pain in the lower abdominal region on the right side.

  • Appendix can rupture when blocked by an object, tumor, or feces.

  • Appendix is a tube of tissue off of the large intestine with an unknown function.

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Right abdominal and side (flank) pain

  • Positive cultures

  • McBurney point, tip of right 12th rib tenderness

  • Palpation over appendix

  • Laboratory tests

General Considerations

  • If untreated, can possibly rupture.

  • Possible referred pain to back, pelvic region, or rectal area (in men).

  • Possible secondary problems that may, depending on severity, indicate the need for physical therapy intervention.

    • - Impairment of aerobic capacity and muscle endurance

    • - Sarcopenia

    • - Musculoskeletal problems

    • - Neuromuscular problems

    • - Weight loss

  • May mimic colon cancer or tumors, irritable bowel, colitis, or, in females, gynecologic problems such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or ectopic pregnancies.

  • Symptoms are frequently referred to the back and abdominal areas, so it may be common to have patients inappropriately referred to physical therapy (PT).

  • Pseudoappendicitis: Yersinia enterocolitica.


  • Can occur across the life span, from 2 years old and up1

  • Most common in individuals between age 15 and 301

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms

  • High fever

  • Diarrhea

  • Shaking and chills

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Discomfort or sharp pain in the right lower quadrant ...

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