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27610 vs. 27620

Camille Posted Tue 18th of February, 2020 19:31:59 PM
In my Coder's Desk Reference for Procedures, CPT codes 27610 and 27620 have the exact same description. What is the actual difference between the two codes, please? Thank you!
SuperCoder Answered Wed 19th of February, 2020 04:24:52 AM

Hi Camille,

 

CPT codes 27610 and 27620 are almost identical in description.

 

CPT 27610 is for Ankle arthrotomy including exploration, drainage, or removal of foreign body. Provider makes an incision over the ankle area. He dissects down through subcutaneous tissue to the joint capsule. He then incises and opens the joint capsule. He explores the joint space. He removes a foreign body, such as a bullet, nail, or gravel, if present. In the absence of a foreign body, the provider simply explores the wound and drains any abnormal fluid from the area

 

In CPT code 27620, provider makes an incision over the ankle area. He dissects down through subcutaneous tissue to the joint capsule. He incises and opens the joint capsule. He then explores the joint space. If he sees a suspicious area of tissue, he may take biopsy. If he sees a loose or foreign body, such as a small piece of bone, a bullet, or a nail, he removes it. He irrigates the wound with antibiotic solution. He closes the capsule. He controls any bleeding and closes the incision in layers with sutures, staples, and or sterile adhesive strips.

 

Difference:

 

Very few points of difference between these two codes.

 

  1. CPT code 27620 includes biopsy as well. Provider may/may not take biopsy. This code should be preferred if ankle arthrotomy with biopsy has been performed. Biopsy is not component of CPT code 27610.
  2. CPT code 27620 should be the code of choice for removal of loose body in the ankle, which might not be foreign body in origin like bone spur whereas CPT code 27610 is specially for removal of foreign body.  

 

Thanks!

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