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Thread: Spine Fusion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Spine Fusion

    AAPC: Back to School
    My physician wants to know what the best code is for a surgical repair of lumbar pars defect? The diagnosis is lumbar spondylolysis. Is a fusion (22612) or vertebral augmentation (22524) the best way to go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Greater Pittsburgh


    You need to code the procedure that was done, was it a fusion (open procedure) or percutaneous( needle for injection) vertebral augmentation?
    jdemar, CPC, CMA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    He hasn't done the surgery yet. He was trying to figure out the best route to go. I think he wanted opinions from other Orthopaedic doctors to see how they would approah it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Baton Rouge


    Quote Originally Posted by thice View Post
    He hasn't done the surgery yet. He was trying to figure out the best route to go. I think he wanted opinions from other Orthopaedic doctors to see how they would approah it.
    Then he probably needs to get opinions from physicians' forums, or send the patient for a second opinion. Coders absolutely cannot make recommendations on which procedure the physician should perform
    Meagan Strauss, CPC, CEMC
    Coding Coordinator
    The NeuroMedical Center
    Baton Rouge, LA

  5. #5


    If you mean just how to approach doing the procedure then I agree with Meagan that coders can not reccomend procedures to physicians, he would need to speak with his partners or other ortho dr's. If you mean he is not sure how this will be coded, I would tell him you cant code this until it is done and to document in great detail exactly what he did so that you can look at both codes and see what would be more appropriate based on the documentation.

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