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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Stay in the Game With the Correct Ligament Repair, Reconstruction Codes

Remember ligament repair abbreviations to simplify elbow ligament surgery coding. Baseball players are gearing up for the season, which means your orthopedist could see a sudden increase in elbow ligament injuries. If conservative therapies fail to help torn medial (841.1) or lateral (841.0) collateral ligament injuries, your surgeon might opt to perform a ligament repair or reconstruction. Follow our tips to distinguish between procedures, and you'll hit a coding homerun. Terms, Diagnosis Can Signal Correct Procedure Because surgeons don't always use the words "reconstruction" or "repair" in their operative reports, you might have difficulty choosing between the following elbow ligament surgery codes: • 24343 -- Repair lateral collateral ligament, elbow, with local tissue • 24344 -- Reconstruction lateral collateral ligament, elbow, with tendon graft (includes harvesting of graft) • 24345 -- Repair medial collateral ligament, elbow, with local tissue • 24346 -- Reconstruction medial collateral ligament, elbow, with tendon graft (includes harvesting of graft). [...]

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