1 Coding for Difficult Tendon Repairs and Transfers
2 Rotator Cuff Repair February 2002 page 11 Code describes a repair of a complete shoulder (rotator) cuff avulsion, referring to the repair of all three major muscles/tendons of the shoulder cuff October 2005 page 23 What is the intent of CPT code 23420? AMA Comment CPT code 23420, Reconstruction of complete shoulder (rotator) cuff avulsion, chronic (includes acromioplasty), is intended to identify an old tear. This type of extreme tear usually requires rearrangement of the normal anatomy and sometimes grafting with either biological or nonbiological material for repair.
3 POSTOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS: Chronic right subscapularis tear
4 Pectoralis Major transfer to lesser tuberosity Pectoralis Major Subscapularis Insertion Lateral lip of intertubercular groove of humerus Insertion lesser tuberosity of humerus
5 Grafting with Biological Material
6 Grafting with Biological Material Reconstruction of complete shoulder (rotator) cuff avulsion, chronic (includes acromioplasty) Implantation of biologic implant (eg. acellular dermal matrix) for soft tissue reinforcement (eg. breast, trunk) 2014 CPT Guidelines (For implantation of biologic implants for soft tissue reinforcement in tissues other than breast and trunk, use 17999) Q4100 Skin substitute, not otherwise specified Conexa offers a ready-to-use biological solution for soft tissue repair.
7 Neuroplasty vs. Transposition The NCCI has an edit with column one CPT code of (tendon lengthening, upper arm and elbow, each tendon) and column two CPT code of (neuroplasty and/or transposition; ulnar nerve at elbow). When performing the tendon lengthening described by CPT code 24305, a neuroplasty of the ulnar nerve is not separately reportable, but a transposition of the ulnar nerve at the elbow is separately reportable. If a provider performs the tendon lengthening described by CPT code and performs an ulnar nerve transposition at the elbow, the NCCI edit may be bypassed by reporting CPT code appending modifier 59. Code only for tendon lengthening and neurolysis (freeing of nerve from scar tissue) Code BOTH the and when a tendon lengthening and ulnar nerve transposition are performed even for a Medicare patient (per CCI Edit Guidelines)
9 Extensor Tendon Compartments I II III Abductor pollicis longus & extensor pollicis brevis Extensor carpi radialis longus & brevis Extensor pollicis longus IV Extensor digitorum communis (4 tendons) & extensor indicis V Extensor digiti minimi VI Extensor carpi ulnaris
10 Flexor Tendon Sheath
11 Zone 2 Repair Code 26370, Repair or advancement of profundus tendon, with intact superficialis tendon; primary, each tendon, is used when only the flexor profundus is cut. There is little room to repair the profundus because the tight sheath and the repair must go through the two slips to the superficialis, further complicating the repair and results. Greater work and skill are required Repair of profundus tendon, with intact superficialis tendon, primary, each secondary with free graft, each secondary w/o graft, each
12 Zone 2 Repair Repair, flexor tendon, not in zone 2; primary or secondary, w/o graft each tendon secondary with free graft, each tendon Repair, flexor tendon in zone 2 w/o graft, each tendon secondary w/o graft secondary with free graft.
13 A1 Pulley Reconstruction Reconstruction of tendon pulley, each tendon; w/tendon or fascial graft (includes obtaining graft) Insertion of wire or pin with application of skeletal traction, including removal
14 20650-Insertion of wire or pin with application of skeletal traction, including removal Digit Widget Patient at 6 weeks Patient following 3 weeks of extension torque
16 # web space Z-plasty, 6cm squared # index finger Z-plasty, 2cm squared # F6 index finger PIP capsulotomy #3, # x2 index finger FDS, FDP tenolysis #15 #1-#4
17 Tenolysis and Capsulotomy How is a tenolysis with capsulotomy of the IP joint coded? If a physician performs a tenolysis and capsulotomy on the flexor tendon in the interphalangeal (IP) joint, the correct codes to report are 26440, Tenolysis, flexor tendon; palm OR finger, each tendon, and , Capsulotomy or capsulotomy; interphalangeal joint, each joint. A capsulotomy is performed on the joint in an attempt to increase the range of motion of the joint and/ or release a contracture. A tenolysis releases scar tissue that binds a tendon to surrounding structures, allowing for improved motion of the tendon. Capsulotomy and tenolysis are distinct procedures that can be performed independently or together. Similarly, to code for extensor tenolysis and IP capsulotomy, report both codes: Tenolysis, extensor tendon, hand OR finger and Capsulotomy or capsulotomy; interphalangeal joint, each joint CPT ASSISTANT Mar 03: 20 CCI Edits bundles into CPT ASSISTANT Apr 02: 18
18 #6, # forearm, FDS tendon lengthening #5, # index finger/ring finger, FTSG 20sq cm or less # ring finger Z-plasty, 2cm squared # F8 ring finger PIP capsulotomy #9, # x2 ring finger FDS, FDP tenolysis #6 #13 #5 #7 #9, #10 #8 #12 #11
19 AAOS tenolysis for surgical exposure is included in CPT code (forearm tendon lengthening) Question: When you have 2 lesions from the same anatomical area (trunk) and separate adjacent tissue transfer procedures are performed for each defect how is this reported? Answer: You would report one CPT code for each tissue transfer procedure as long as the margins were separate and not contiguous. CPT ASSISTANT JUL: 00 (REPORT EACH ADJACENT TISSUE TRANSFER) Question: A 3sq cm FTSG was placed on the cheek, chin and a finger. Since this was 3 separate anatomical areas would be reported 3 times? Answer: No, since cheek, chin and fingers are all identified by the same full thickness graft code and the total area covered was 9sq cm CPT code would only be reported one time CPT ASSISTANT NOV: 00 (ADD TOGETHER, ANATOMICAL SITES THAT HAVE THE SAME FTSG CPT CODE)
20 Tendon Transfers
21 25280 x3 Lengthening or shortening of flexor or extensor tendon, forearm and/or wrist, single, each tendon #6 #5 #7
22 If the surgeon chooses a tendon graft as the interposition material, and if the tendon is harvested at a different site through a separate incision( s), the harvesting of the tendon graft should be coded separately with (Tendon graft, from a distance) If, on the other hand, the surgeon harvests a local tendon through the same incision as that used for the arthroplasty, it is included in the basic procedure and is not reported separately.
23 25310 x5 Tendon transplantation or transfer, flexor or extensor, forearm and/or wrist, single; each tendon #1 - #4 #8
24 CMC Arthroplasty Excision of carpal bone Hole is drilled in the base of 1 st metacarpal FCR tendon is harvested through proximal incision in the forearm (separately reported) Tendon is taken through drill hole, sewn upon itself Remaining tendon is rolled up as an anchovy and placed into defect left by trapezium
25 CMC Arthroplasty FCR
26 CMC Arthroplasty
27 Tendon Transfer Arthroplasty, interposition, intercarpal or carpometacarpal joints The transfer of the FCR to the base of the first metacarpal is not a part of the basic first CMC arthroplasty procedure and must be coded in addition to WITH EITHER Transfer or transplant of tendon, carpometacarpal area or dorsum of hand; without free graft, each tendon OR 25310, Tendon transplantation or transfer, flexor or extensor, forearm and/or wrist, single; each tendon, AS APPROPRIATE.
28 Intrinsic Muscles Thenar Group Opponens pollicis Abductor pollicis brevis Flexor pollicis brevis Adductor pollicis Hypothenar Group Abductor digiti minimi Flexor digiti minimi brevis (superficial muscles) Opponens digiti minimi (deep muscle)
29 Intrinsic Muscles Cross intrinsic transfer Transfer of the lumbricals from the radial side to the ulnar side of finger to the ulnar side of finger superficial muscles Lumbricals (Superficial muscles Deep Muscles Ulna Radius
30 Intrinsic Muscle CPT Codes Repair, intrinsic muscles of hand, each muscle Release, intrinsic muscles of hand, each muscle intrinsic release bundles into MCPJ capsulotomy
31 Opponensplasty Superficialis tendon transfer type; each tendon tendon transfer w/graft (includes obtaining graft), each tendon hypothenar muscle transfer other methods
32 PROCEDURES PERFORMED: 1. Flexor carpi radialis to extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon transfer. 2. Flexor digitorum superficialis opponensplasty, right ring finger to right thumb through a loop of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon. 3. MP joint fusion with K-wire fixation. The first procedure was harvesting the opponens tendon donor. A transverse incision was made at the volar MP joint of the ring finger and the sublimis tendon was identified and incised to free it. Incision was then made at the ulnar wrist level in a zigzag manner. The flexor carpi ulnaris tendon was identified along with the ulnar neurovascular bundle. The ulnar nerve and artery were gently retracted out of harm s way as well as the nerve to the opposite side and exposure was taken to the flexor tendon. Due to some tendon adhesions, the flexor digitorum superficialis to the ring finger would not freely pull into this wound. Therefore, a second midpalmar incision was made to further free up the tendon. At this time, it was easier to identify the location at the wrist level and then the tendon could be retrieved proximally. The tendon was then looped around the distal aspect of the FCU tendon and tunneled subcutaneously over to the thenar muscles.
33 Opponensplasty A longitudinal U-shaped incision was made over the MP joint of the thumb. Dissection was taken into the capsule through the extensor pollicis longus and brevis tendons and the unstable and arthritic joint was visualized. A rongeur was used to decorticate the joint surfaces. The bones were apposed and then secured with cross K-wires. These K-wires were cut short at the bone level. The opponens tendon transfer was then secured into the opponens muscle using an end-weave anastomosis. This was secured with 3-0 Tycron suture. Attention was then turned to the tendon transfer. The flexor carpi radialis was incised through a small transverse incision as it entered the tunnel of the scaphoid. A second incision was then made more proximally to help redirected it in a radial direction. It was then tunneled beneath the skin to the dorsal wrist surface, where it was sewn into the extensor carpi radialis brevis again using an end-weave anastomosis.
34 26135 Synovectomy, metacarpophalangeal joint including intrinsic release and extensor hood reconstruction
35 Leg Muscles/Tendons Quadriceps Hamstring Gastroc Popliteal space Semitendinosus Biceps Femoris Semimembramosus
36 Repair, Revision, and/or Reconstruction Suture of quadriceps or hamstring muscle rupture, primary secondary reconstruction, including fascial or tendon graft What code is used to report an endoscopic gastocnemius recession? There is no specific CPT code to describe endoscopic gastocnemius recession. This procedure should be reported using Unlisted Procedure Code While uses the term arthroscopic and the joint space is not entered is located in the section for arthroscopic or endoscopic procedures of the musculoskeletal system and is intended to include unlisted endoscopic services Nov. 08 CPT Assistant
38 .. A patient with a right quadriceps tendon rupture with an extensive retinaculum tear underwent an open repair of the tendon rupture and the retinaculum tear. Our dilemma is that some of the coders feel that CPT code 27385, Suture of quadriceps or hamstring muscle rupture; primary, would be assigned since he four quadriceps muscles in essence come down to form the quadriceps tendon. Other coders feel that CPT code would not be accurate and CPT code 27664, Repair extensor tendon, leg; primary, without graft, each tendon, would be more appropriate because the quadriceps tendon is an extensor tendon of the leg. The other perspective is that CPT code would not be appropriate for a quadriceps tendon repair because CPT code is listed under the subsection of leg (tibia and fibula) in the CPT manual. Yet a few of the coders feel that the unlisted code (27599) would be the most appropriate code assignment for the quadriceps tendon repair. What would be the correct code assignment for this case?
39 . ANSWER Based on the information provided in the operative report, only CPT code 27385, Suture of quadriceps or hamstring muscle rupture; primary, would be appropriately reported for this case. Although the code descriptor refers to the muscle, the muscle connects into a bone via a tendon, and the rupture was actually of the tendon and not the muscle. Therefore, code is the correct code assignment for this procedure.
40 Galeazzi Procedure 2008 Text Lateral release Hamstring tenodesis Transplant, hamstring tendon to patella, single tendon The semitendinosus tendon is attached to the patella to pull it medially
41 Revised Code Description
43 Repair, Revision, and/or Reconstruction Suture of infrapatellar tendon, primary secondary reconstruction, including fascial or tendon graft
44 Tendon Transfer - Deep DO NOT USE FOR TENDON TRANSFERS OF THE TOES Interosseous space
47 Girdlestone - flexor to extensor tendon transfer for the correction of lesser toe deformities
48 Response to AMA Inquiry It would be appropriate to report the Girdlestone with if used to correct a flexible hammer toe. In this case the hammer toes were repaired with a PIPJ fusion, so the Girdlestone can be coded 28270, if it was used to correct capsular laxity at the metatarsophalangeal joint. The unlisted code could be used depending on what it is being use for as there is no CPT code for tendon transfer of the toe.
49 CEU s Go to and select the TRAINING tab. Login using your address and password. If you have forgotten or did not receive your password, use the Forgot Password link. Supplemental CEU Complete the Supplemental CEU Exam for additional CEU credit If you have any questions or problems, please
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