Patellar Tendonitis Documentation with Accurate ICD-10 Codes

by | Last updated Jun 2, 2023 | Published on Mar 28, 2018 | Specialty Coding

Patellar Tendonitis Documentation
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Those interested in sports will be quite familiar with the term “Patellar tendonitis”. Also referred to as “jumper’s knee”, it is a knee injury affecting the patella tendon. It is common in professional athletes, especially basket ball and football players who jump and land with force. Diagnosis by an expert sports orthopedic professional or a sports medicine specialist is important as soon as such a rupture occurs. Medical coding outsourcing services can help orthopedic specialists ensure accurate and timely claim filing and reimbursement.

In sports, a recent case was that of Andre Roberson, an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City. His left knee remained mostly immobile, as the result of the torn patellar tendon he suffered on January 27, 2018, ending his season. This Oklahoma City Thunder lockdown defender had missed eight games earlier this season with tendinitis in that same left patellar tendon.

The patellar tendon ligament connects the patella or the kneecap to the tibia, or shinbone in the lower leg. It assists the muscles of the leg to straighten and bend the knee. Though common, injuries to the patellar tendon are typically one-sided and infrequent. It occurs when the patella is exposed to an eccentric (lengthening) quadriceps muscle contraction while the knee is bent as the foot strikes the ground.

Typical signs pointing to a diagnosis of patellar tendon rupture include an inability to place weight on the involved leg, elevated patella, inability to extend the knee, significant bruising, and pain/tenderness around the knee. For complete ruptures of the patellar tendon, surgery is recommended, which is followed by certain rehabilitation programs and exercises.

Orthopedic medical coding involves the use of specific ICD-10 codes to document any such conditions, including patellar tendonitis. Billable/specific ICD-10-CM codes that can be used to indicate a diagnosis of patellar tendonitis for reimbursement purposes are:

  • M76.50 – Patellar tendinitis, unspecified knee
  • M76.51 – Patellar tendinitis, right knee
  • M76.52 – Patellar tendinitis, left knee

Choosing the right ICD-10 codes from a huge list of codes can be complex, unless the coder has a clear idea about it. For accurate and timely medical billing and claims submission, orthopedic practices can consider outsourcing their medical coding tasks to a professional medical billing company that provides the services of AAPC-certified coding specialists.

Julie Clements

Julie Clements, OSI’s Vice President of Operations, brings a diverse background in healthcare staffing and a robust six-year tenure as the Director of Sales and Marketing at a prestigious 4-star resort.

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