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Thread: icd 9 - vertebral aretery tortuosity

  1. #1

    Default icd 9 - vertebral aretery tortuosity

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    How would you code, vertebral aretery tortuosity?
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    WHills, CA

    Smile Vertebral Artery Tortuousity

    I think that is spelled right....LOL what a stretch on the brain!

    This is really a mathematical Engineering domain situation involving application of the property of a curve being twisted or having many turns. I remember this from thermodynamics and finite mathematics. Could be a fancy way to describe spider veins or in this case, you mentioned "vertebral".

    To put totuousity into use for medical application: Let's describe a piece of vertebral paths. The posterior (dorsal) spinal artery passes posteriorly to descend the medulla passing in front of the posterior roots of the spinal nerves. Along its course it is reinforced by a succession of segmental or radicular branches, which enter the vertebral canal through the intervertebral foramina, forming a plexus called the vasocorona. The posterior spinal arteries continue as the two major trunks down to the lower part of the medulla spinalis, and to the cauda equina.
    Branches from the posterior spinal arteries form a free anastomosis around the posterior roots of the spinal nerves, and communicate, by means of very tortuous transverse branches, with the vessels of the opposite side.
    Close to its origin each posterior spinal artery gives off an ascending branch, which ends ipsilaterally near the fourth ventricle.
    The posterior spinal artery can often originate from the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, rather than the vertebral.

    BTW, I looked up your term under Ingenix Encoder to see if there was an ICD-9 exactly they way you asked it and you can find all kinds of codes and references under vertebral artery but kicks out tortuousity which is an adjective. I found the 435 section of particular interest, and you may want to try the term "Vertebral artery compression syndrome".

    Sorry, I tried to take a stab at it.

    Hopefully a coding guru can answer it in simple terms because someone has had to code it the way you put it. I just have never come across docs described that way.

    Get a hold of Nettler's Anatomy book. Has lots of information and covers everything vascular. I can't wait to get my own copy, Icd-10 is no joke.

    Well, if I would keep the AMA ICD-9 handy while answering, I could shoot myself in the foot. 447.1 under tortuous works. I didn't have my book with me until this morning. Sorry
    Last edited by KellyLR; 06-26-2010 at 06:00 PM. Reason: grammar, found it

  3. #3



  4. #4

    Default tortuosity

    I think that tortuosity is a congenital anomaly and is not coded.

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