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lateral release and chondroplasty

  1. Default lateral release and chondroplasty
    Exam Training Packages
    Can a lateral release (29873) with a chondroplasty of patella (29877-59) and an ACL debridement (29999) all be billed together?

  2. Default
    codes 29873 and 29877 are bundled and cannot be bill together with any modifier. The 29999 can be billed with either 29873 or 29877 whichever you decide to bill of the 2. Hope this helps.

  3. Default
    thank you, Im just not sure about not billing for 29877 with 29873, I keep getting information that even though its bundled, since the chondroplasty was done in the patella area, that it can be billed with modifier 59

  4. #4
    there is some ongoing controversy about whether or not the lateral release is considered the patellofemoral compartment.

    I personally, do not think it is because the release is performed outside the joint, BUT it does control the patellar will just confuse the situation a little more
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

  5. Default
    Thanks Mary, I know this is controversial, that's why I'm really not sure
    should I or shouldn't I, AND my answer is............ (I don't know )

  6. #6
    lol ok...IF it were me and the documentation supports the use of the 59, I would do it.
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

  7. Default
    yeah, that's what I was going to do! thanks for your opinion!

  8. Default
    Hey Mary, I just saw one of your previous posts on this issue, you stated you had a CPT assistant on this, would you be able to send this to me, I'd appreciate it!!

  9. Default
    oh wait! I just saw this on the AMA website under CPT Online Knowledge Base, so now if the AMA is stating that the lateral release is performed in the patellofemoral compartment, then I can't code 29877-59 for the chondroplasty performed in the patella area. Read the following:

    KB #: 5462
    Date: 08/06/2009


    Musculoskeletal System


    In arthroscopic knee surgery, the knee is subdivided into the following three compartments: medial, lateral, and patello-femoral. From a CPT coding perspective, which knee compartment is a surgeon working in when performing an arthroscopic lateral retinacular release, code 29873, Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with lateral release?


    Arthroscopy with lateral release, as described by code 29873, is performed in the patellofemoral compartment.

  10. #10
    I've seen it..thats exactly why I said it was controversial. Margie Vaught is, I believe, currently questioning the AMA to find out how they came up with this anatomical picture.
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

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