This is copied from the ICD-9-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting effective October 1, 2008 regarding Exclusions:
I understand that to mean that if both types of spinal disorders are present, then both codes are to be used. So if your patient has low back pain (724.2) and cervical DDD (722.4), it is appropriate to use both codes, one for each disorder." Excludes: An excludes note under a code indicates that the terms excluded from the code are to be coded elsewhere. In some cases the codes for the excluded terms should not be used in conjunction with the code from which it is excluded. An example of this is a congenital condition excluded from an acquired form of the same condition. The congenital and acquired codes should not be used together. In other cases, the excluded terms may be used together with an excluded code. An example of this is when fractures of different bones are coded to different codes. Both codes may be used together if both types of fractures are present."
I will leave the chronic pain question to be answered/explained by another, maybe someone who works in a pain management clinic or practice.
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