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Thread: Lumbar discectomy WITH decompression.

  1. #1

    Question Lumbar discectomy WITH decompression.

    AAPC: Back to School
    Provider is doing a lumbar artificial disc replacement. He indicates that he did a complete discectomy with decompression and wants to use unlisted code 22899 because code 22857 indicates discectomy (other then for decompression). as well as codes 22558,22845,22851
    . The report indicates:
    The disc was fenestrated cranially and caudally as far left and right as possible. The end plate cutterpassed to the port. The disk was removed. The endplates were carefully denuded from the endplates and taken down to the posterior annulus. The annulus was removed from the right to left and spinal canal was entered in the posterior bulge, but was centrally and laterally wars removed and teh annulus was removed as well in the central part of the disk space. This decompressed the buldging that could potentially have irritated the L5-S1 bilaterally.

    My question is. ... If they have to take the disc completely out anyways can he technically charge a seperate procedure simply because there was decompression that was acheived as a result of taking the disc out? and why not use 63005?
    Last edited by MMillercpc; 10-18-2010 at 11:51 AM.

  2. #2


    Why not use 63040? That one may be more of what you are looking for. Hope that helps.

  3. #3


    Unfortunately that is the posterior approach. I did find out that the unlisted code is appropriate, however 64999 would be a little more appropriate. The procedure is similar to 63075-63078 but there isn't currently a code for the lumbar region.

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