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Thread: Chronic vs. Acute

  1. #1

    Default Chronic vs. Acute

    AAPC: Back to School
    For a patient that sustained an injury to his knee in the spring and then was admitted for ACL reconstruction in August of the same year, would the ACL tear be considered acute or chronic when assigning an ICD-9 code?

  2. #2


    This would be an acute condition. Acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. Chronic conditions occur over time and often develop slowly.

  3. #3


    In this case, the key to 'acute vs chronic' is the word 'injury'. This denotes an acute condition, so use codes from the 'injury and poisoning' section of the ICD-9 - which would probably be an 836.x or 844.x code for the knee.

    Richard Mann, your pain management coder (and an occasional knee)

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