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Orthopedic Coding Alert

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Does CPT Include a Spondylolisthesis Code?

Question: Which CPT code should we report when the orthopedist performs a reduction of spondylolisthesis during a lumbar procedure? He usually documents this when he performs a fusion, instrumentation insertion, or laminectomy with decompression.

Florida Subscriber

Answer: Unfortunately, you cannot separately report the spondylolisthesis reduction that the surgeon performed during the lumbar procedures.

Most insurers would consider the spondylolisthesis incidental to the main procedure (the fusion, instrumentation insertion, or laminectomy).

The payer would most likely reason that the spondylolisthesis is automatically "reduced" when the surgeon inserts the rods, and you therefore cannot separately collect for the reduction.

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