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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Check the Bundle for Chondroplasty

Question: How does one code for a medial meniscectomy, synovectomy of medial, lateral, and patellofemoral compartments, and a chondroplasty of the patellofemoral and medial femoral condyle in a non-medicare patient?Kansas SubscriberAnswer: You will report code 29881(Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; with meniscectomy [medial OR lateral, including any meniscal shaving] including debridement/shaving of articular cartilage [chondroplasty], same or separate compartment[s], when performed) for medial meniscectomy. For the extensive synovectomy, you will report code 29876 (Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; synovectomy, major, 2 or more compartments [e.g., medial or lateral]). You will not report the chondroplasty as 29877 (Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; debridement/shaving of articular cartilage [chondroplasty]) gets bundled in both the codes.ErratumThe correct answer to the question Bill Separate Incision for Syndesmosis Repair in Orthopedic Coding Alert, Vol. 15, No. 6, page 47 should be as follows:You should report code 27814 (Open treatment of bimalleolar ankle fracture [e.g., lateral and medial malleoli, or lateral and posterior [...]

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