Diagnosis Coding for Foraminal Stenosis

Diagnosis Coding for Foraminal Stenosis

May 9, 2019

I have a question regarding one of your previous Coding Coach Q&As that I recently saw.   The question is about coding stenosis.  Wouldn’t the code(s) for foraminal stenosis be M99.8 and then 5th digit based on the area of the spine?

Actually, no.  Why? Because the guidelines just under the M99 heading say “This category should not be used if the condition can be classified elsewhere.”  Neurosurgeons can always find a more specific diagnosis such as M48.061 or even radiculopathy (M54.-).

*This response is based on the best information available as of 5/9/19.

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