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Thread: Splinter Removal Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Splinter Removal Question

    AAPC: Back to School
    If physician states knife blade wound entry extended distally & proximally 1.5cm, splinter (2") was taken out from muscle tissue deep area (hand) would the proper coding be 20525 instead of subcutaneous. Any advise?

  2. #2


    I personally would not use 20525. A splinter is usually more superficial so I would use code 10120.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Wound exploration - Trauma

    Look at 20103 ... includes removal of foreign body from wound.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  4. #4


    Hi all ,
    In ER when the physician removes a splinter and if the physician applies simple repair or even layered closure, then we can code intermediate closure (12031 to 12057 .
    [ see the guidelines given before the page of Repair codes(12001-12057) ]

    20103 and 20525 are surgical procedures done by orthopedic surgeons , not by the ER physicians.
    Hope it helps

    Samson BPT., CPC
    Last edited by sam_son ; 03-05-2010 at 01:58 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbia, MO


    20103 and 20525 are not limited to ortho surgeons. I agree that 20525 may not be correct as the information provided does not stated the incision went into the muscle so I do agree with the 20103.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

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