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General Surgery Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Identify 'Extremity' to Find Correct Code

Question: What is the correct diagnosis code for popliteal artery stenosis?North Carolina SubscriberAnswer: You should look to 440.2x (Atherosclerosis of native arteries of the extremities). The popliteal artery is an extension of the femoral artery and bifurcates into the tibial arteries. That places the popliteal arteries in the lower extremities. Code 440.2x applies to arteries in the extremities, so you know you're on the right track.Look in the ICD-9 index under "Stenosis; artery; extremity," and the entry will point you to 440.20 (Atherosclerosis of native arteries of the extremities unspecified). When you turn to 440.20 in the tabular list, you'll see additional options in the range that may be more appropriate, depending on your documentation:440.21, Atherosclerosis of native arteries of the extremities with intermittent claudication 440.22, ... with rest pain 440.23, ... with ulceration 440.24, ... with gangrene 440.29, Other atherosclerosis of native arteries of the extremities.Follow the notes with [...]


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