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ICD-9-CM Codes

  • 562 Diverticula of intestine

  • 562.01 Diverticulitis of small intestine (without mention hemorrhage)

  • 562.11 Diverticulitis of colon (without mention of hemorrhage)

Associated Physical Therapy Diagnoses

  • 718.45 Contracture of joint; pelvic region and thigh

  • 781.2 Abnormality of gait

  • 728.89 Other disorders of muscle, ligament, and fascia

  • 728.2 Muscular wasting and disuse atrophy, not elsewhere classified

  • 729.9 Other and unspecified disorders of soft tissue

  • 719.70 Difficulty in walking involving joint site unspecified

  • 782.3 Edema

  • 315.4 Developmental coordination disorder

  • 786.05 Shortness of breath

  • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue

  • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities

ICD-10-CM Codes

  • K57.12 Diverticulitis of small intestine without perforation or abscess without bleeding

  • K57.32 Diverticulitis of large intestine without perforation or abscess without bleeding

Preferred Practice Pattern

  • As of November 2012, 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


  • Focal inflammation of the diverticula (sacs) in any part of the digestive tract but most commonly in the large intestine1

  • Secondary problems such as weakness, gait abnormalities and limited aerobic endurance

  • May be acute, post-operative, chronic, viral or bacterially related, or congenital/hereditary

  • Diverticulosis are pouches in the wall of the colon, when inflamed called diverticulitis

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Individuals may be referred to PT with complaints of back pain, or anterior chest and shoulder pain, which is not attributable to the structures in that anatomical area

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

  • Sudden onset may mimic colon cancer or tumors, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or gynecological problems in females such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or ectopic pregnancies

  • Abdominal pain often on left side of abdomen (may start slow and worsen over days, but this is less common)

  • It is not the purview of a physical therapist to medically diagnose a GI pathology, but rather to recognize the possibility in the differential diagnosis process, especially when the findings are not consistent with conditions commonly treated (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, integumentary, cardiopulmonary)

General Considerations

  • May result in secondary problems such as aerobic capacity and muscle endurance impairment, sarcopenia, weakness/impaired muscle performance, musculoskeletal problems, neuromuscular problems, weight loss, or weight gain, indicating the need for physical therapy intervention depending on severity

  • Chronic diarrhea, episodic diarrhea, loss of bowel control (incontinence or urgency), and blood in stool may be symptomatic of diverticulitis


  • Most common after 40 years of age

  • Low fiber diets

  • Those who lack exercise

  • Obesity

  • Uncommon in third world or developing countries

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms

  • Left lower ...

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