AAPC - Back to school
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Help with shoulder, debridement or synovectomy?

  1. #1

    Default Help with shoulder, debridement or synovectomy?

    AAPC: Back to School

    Can someone please help me. I am not going to write out the entire Op report. I just need help with this one part. " An anterior portal was then established between the biceps & subscapularis tendon, and biceps anchor was debrided, as well as synovial debridement for the synovitis that was present".

    Would I use cpt 29822 or 29820 for the synovial debridement.

    Any assistance or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Covington, LA


    This is straight from the AAOS website. I hope it helps clarify the difference between 29822 and 29820 for you.

    Q. What is the difference between codes 29820, 29821, 29822 and 29823? Does the shoulder have separate compartments?

    A. The AAOS Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee recognizes three “areas” or “regions” of the shoulder: the glenohumeral joint, the acromioclavicular joint and the subacromial bursal space. These “areas” are clearly separate; procedures done in one area should not influence coding in a different area.

    Generally, code 29820 is used for a partial synovectomy, similar to the separate procedure code. If only a diagnostic arthroscopy is performed, and some synovium is resected for visualization, only a diagnostic arthroscopy can be reported. If a partial synovectomy is medically necessary (for a redundant synovial plica or limited synovitis), code 20980 should be reported.

    Code 29821 should be used for a complete synovectomy for a synovitic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or pigmented villonodular synovitis, with removal of the entire intra-articular synovium.
    Code 29822 covers limited debridement of soft or hard tissue and should be used for limited labral debridement, cuff debridement or the removal of degenerative cartilage and osteophytes.

    Code 29823 should be used only for extensive debridement of soft or hard tissue. It includes a chondroplasty of the humeral head or glenoid and associated osteophytes or multiple soft tissue structures that are debrided such as labrum, subscapularis and supraspinatus.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply but I still don't know whether to use a debridement code or synovectomy code for synovial debridement for synovitis???

  4. #4



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-28-2013, 06:52 AM
  2. shoulder debridement
    By Jamie Dezenzo in forum Outpatient Facilities
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-07-2012, 08:46 AM
  3. Achilles Debridement, Tenotomy or Synovectomy
    By BCrandall in forum Orthopaedics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-22-2010, 07:49 AM
  4. Shoulder Synovectomy
    By NJcoder in forum Orthopaedics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-28-2010, 11:11 AM
  5. Debridement vs. Synovectomy shoulder arthroscopy
    By bethh05 in forum Outpatient Facilities
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-23-2009, 08:12 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Enjoying Our Forums?

AAPC forums are a benefit of membership. Joining AAPC grants you unlimited access, allowing you to post questions and participate with our community of over 150,000 professionals.

Join Now Continue Reading Without Full Access

Already a Member?


Close Message

In addition to full participation on AAPC forums, as a member you will be able to:

  • Access to the largest healthcare job database in the world.
  • Join over 150,000 members of the healthcare network in the world.
  • Be a part of an industry leading organization that drives the business side of healthcare.
  • Save anywhere from 10%-50% with exclusive member discounts on courses, books, study materials, and conferences.
  • Access to discounts at hundreds of restaurants, travel destinations, retail stores, and service providers. AAPC members also have opportunities to save on heath, life, and liability insurance.
  • Become a member of a local chapter and attend regular meetings.