heres from coders pink sheet article:
Subject One surgeon's answers to the shoulder coding conundrum
Source Coder Pink Sheets: Orthopedic
Publication Orthopedic Coder's Pink Sheet, January 2006, Vol. 7, No. 1
Effective Date Jan 1, 2006
Publish Date Jan 1, 2006
One surgeonâ€™s answers to the shoulder coding conundrum
Wondering what to do until the AAOS Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee meets and updates its instructions on the reporting of shoulder synovectomy (29820, 29821) and debridement (29822, 29823)? Hereâ€™s how committee member William Beach MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Tuckahoe Orthopaedic Associates in Richmond , Va. , uses the codes.
29820: For a minor synovectomy. â€śI use this code if I do a very limited synovectomy and nothing else,â€ť Beach says. â€śObviously I rarely use this code and I think of this as similar to a plica excision of the knee â€“ included with almost every other procedure.â€ť
29821: For major synovectomy of the entire intraarticular synovioum, â€śbut not a little synovial shave to improve visualization,â€ť he says.
29822: For minor debridement of soft tissue, including labral debridement, cuff debridement, and so on.
29823: Either for debridement of multiple soft tissue structures (labrum, subscapularis, supraspinatus) and/or a chondroplasty of the humeral head or glenoid.
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