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Thread: ICD-9 help -- disc bulges, annular tears

  1. #1

    Question ICD-9 help -- disc bulges, annular tears

    AAPC: Back to School
    I am in limbo on these two diagnoses and have heard differing opinions.

    How do you code disc bulges? I have used 722.10 for lumbar for a long time but have heard this may not be correct.

    Also, how do you code annular tears? I have no clue on this one.

    Thank you
    Mary Baierl, CPC, CCA, CMT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Kansas City MO

    Default ICD help for anular tear/bulging disc

    We use 722.2 for either of those. It is an unspecified code, but I donot know of another that is more specific to describea not-quite-herniated disc!
    Hope that helps a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    We have always used 722.93 for lumbar disc bulges.

  4. #4


    We use 722.10 for the buldging, the annular depends on the diagnosis but you can usr strain codes...

  5. #5


    i'd go with 722.9x

  6. #6

    Default Disk bulging

    722.9x codes states "Other and Unspecified" which you want to stay away from those kind of codes.

    722xx codes are used for Displacements of the spine. When a report lists "extrusion", "bulging", and "protrusion" then those are the codes to choose which area of the spine.

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