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Orthopedic Coding Alert


Thermal Shrinkage? Report Unlisted

Question: Our surgeon performed an arthroscopic thermal shrinkage of the ACL. Which code should we report?

Florida Subscriber Answer: CPT does not include a specific code for thermal shrinkage, so you should report 29999 (Unlisted procedure, arthroscopy) for this service. Send the insurer a copy of the operative report, along with a short letter from the physician that describes how he used the arthroscope as a guide for the thermal probe.
Unfortunately, many carriers consider thermal shrinkage procedures experimental and do not reimburse for this service, so you should get preapproval from your insurer before you bill.

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