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Thread: need help with dx

  1. #1

    Default need help with dx

    AAPC: Back to School
    Is there a dx code to for "painful sternal wire"?


  2. #2


    I think it should be 996.72

  3. #3


    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kansas City

    Default Chris

    I use code 996.40- Unspecified mechanical complication of internal orthopedic device, implant or graft. 996.72 refers to a cardiac device, implant and graft. The sternal wires are not directly connected to the heart ie electodes or grafts. I have not had a problem getting paid using this code.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Birmingham, Alabama


    Quote Originally Posted by deeva456 View Post
    Is there a dx code to for "painful sternal wire"?


    If there is a disruption of the surgical wound you could try using a code from the 998.3_ range, otherwise I would use 998.89.

    A sternal wire is not an orthopedic device, nor a cardiac device so the other codes don't quite fit, IMO.

    I hope this helps.
    Danny L. Peoples

  6. #6


    I will routinely use 996.49 for a broken sternal wire.

  7. #7


    If the sternal wire is not broken and there is not dehiscence of the wound, then I would code 996.78 and 338.22. I've always considered sternal wires to be an orthopedic implant because they are used to close the sternal bone.

    Lisi, CPC

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