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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:

One Incision

Question: Our surgeon performed tenosynovectomy of flexor hallucis longus, tenosynovectomy of flexor digitorum longus and tenosynovectomy of posterior tibial tendon, all through one incision. How should I code this?

Delaware Subscriber  
Answer: Use 27626 (Arthrotomy, with synovectomy, ankle; including tenosynovectomy). The code descriptor does not include language indicating that it can be reported as a multiple when more than one tendon is involved. Codes that are to be reported in this manner usually contain the phrase each tendon. In the circumstances you describe, 27626 should be reported only once.
  You Be the Coder and Reader Questions were answered by Susan Callaway, CPC, CCS-P, an independent coding consultant and educator in North Augusta, S.C.; Beth Fulton, CPC, coding specialist at Orthopaedic Specialists of the Carolinas in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Debra Lee, coding coordinator for Orlando Orthopedic Center in Orlando, Fla.; Joanne Simmons, CPC, surgery coordinator at Nemours Childrens Clinic in Orlando, Fla.; and Heidi Stout, CPC, CCS-P, coding and reimbursement manager at University Orthopedic Associates in New Brunswick, N.J.

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