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Orthopedic Coding Alert

You Be the Coder:

Arthroscopic Wrist Excision

Test your coding knowledge. Determine how you would code this situation before looking at the box below for the
answer.
Question: Should I use 29846 (Arthroscopy, wrist, surgical; excision and/or repair of triangular fibrocarti-lage and/or joint debridement) for the arthroscopic excision of a ganglion, dorsal left wrist? We couldn't find a specific code in CPT that addresses this type of surgery. New Jersey Subscriber  
    Answer: No, 29846 is not appropriate for this type of procedure. You should use 29999 (Unlisted procedure, arthroscopy) instead.

Many practices are hesitant to report the unlisted-procedure code because it often slows claim processing, but in your situation, this is your best bet. It isn't correct coding to choose a code "close" to the procedure performed. If no accurate code exists, always go with the unlisted-procedure code.


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