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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Consider Plastic Deformity as Closed Fracture

Question: We need an ICD-9 code for plastic deformation of the radial and ulnar shafts. Is 813.23 (Fracture of shaft of radius with ulna closed) correct or would another code be more appropriate?North Carolina SubscriberAnswer: You are correct in reporting the plastic deformity of the radial and ulnar shafts with 813.23. Plastic deformity is a curved deformity of the forearm without a through and through fracture. The bone is bent without disruption in the cortex of the bone as in a standard fracture. This is invariably treated with closed reduction and casting.


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