The spine supports the spinal cord and nerves, head, shoulders, and upper body. Spine conditions such as spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, myelopathy, and radiculopathy damage the vertebrae, cause pain, and limit mobility. While some spine problems occur when normal spinal curves grow too large, others occur when the vertebrae are not strong enough to support the spine. These disorders can affect the spine anywhere from the neck to the lower back. Spine conditions are treated by a spine specialist along with other specialists such as – chiropractors, physiatrists, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management physicians, anesthesiologists, rheumatologists and neurologists. An experienced medical billing company can help physicians submit error-free claims for optimal reimbursement.

Imaging tests such as – spinal X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan may be recommended to see the spine in more detail or to see soft tissue such as discs and nerves. Treatments for spine disorders mainly include ice or heat therapy for injuries, corticosteroid injections, medications such as anti-inflammatories, pain relievers and muscle relaxers or even surgery. The U.S. Congress has formally recognized October as Spine Health Awareness Month. This observance aims to draw attention to spine issues that impact 100 million Americans each year.

Let’s take a look at five common spine disorders and their ICD-10 codes –

Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a form of arthritis – degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis of the spine. Cervical spondylosis is the age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in neck.

  • M47 Spondylosis

    • M47.0 Anterior spinal and vertebral artery compression syndromes

      • M47.01 Anterior spinal artery compression syndromes
      • M47.02 Vertebral artery compression syndromes
    • M47.1 Other spondylosis with myelopathy
    • M47.2 Other spondylosis with radiculopathy
    • M47.8 Other spondylosis
      • M47.81 Spondylosis without myelopathy or radiculopathy
      • M47.89 Other spondylosis
    • M47.9 Spondylosis, unspecified

Spondylolisthesis

This disorder occurs when a vertebra slips out of place and puts pressure on a nerve, which causes lower back pain. Common types of spondylolisthesis are – Congenital, Isthmic and Degenerative. Symptoms may include muscle spasms, back stiffness and difficulty walking.

  • M43.1 Spondylolisthesis

    • M43.10 …… site unspecified
    • M43.11 …… occipito-atlanto-axial region
    • M43.12 …… cervical region
    • M43.13 …… cervicothoracic region
    • M43.14 …… thoracic region
    • M43.15 …… thoracolumbar region
    • M43.16 …… lumbar region
    • M43.17 …… lumbosacral region
    • M43.18 …… sacral and sacrococcygeal region
    • M43.19 …… multiple sites in spine

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spaces within the spine. The condition most often occurs in the lower back and the neck. Cervical and lumbar stenosis are the two main types of spinal stenosis. The condition can be the result of overgrowth of bone, herniated disks, tumors or spinal injuries.

  • M48.0 Spinal stenosis

    • M48.00 …… site unspecified
    • M48.01 …… occipito-atlanto-axial region
    • M48.02 …… cervical region
    • M48.03 …… cervicothoracic region
    • M48.04 …… thoracic region
    • M48.05 …… thoracolumbar region
    • M48.06 …… lumbar region
    • M48.07 …… lumbosacral region
    • M48.08 …… sacral and sacrococcygeal region

Myelopathy

Myelopathy is caused by severe compression of the spinal cord. It can be caused by trauma, degenerative disease or disc herniation. Common types of myelopathy are – Cervical, Thoracic, Vascular and Lumbar.

  • M50.0 Cervical disc disorder with myelopathy

    • M50.00 …… unspecified cervical region
    • M50.01 …… high cervical region
    • M50.02 Cervical disc disorder with myelopathy, mid-cervical region

      • M50.020 …… unspecified level
      • M50.021 Cervical disc disorder at C4-C5 level with myelopathy
      • M50.022 Cervical disc disorder at C5-C6 level with myelopathy
      • M50.023 Cervical disc disorder at C6-C7 level with myelopathy
    • M50.03 …… cervicothoracic region
  • M51 Thoracic, thoracolumbar, and lumbosacral intervertebral disc disorders
    • M51.0 Thoracic, thoracolumbar and lumbosacral intervertebral disc disorders with myelopathy

      • M51.04 Intervertebral disc disorders with myelopathy, thoracic region
      • M51.05 Intervertebral disc disorders with myelopathy, thoracolumbar region
      • M51.06 Intervertebral disc disorders with myelopathy, lumbar region
  • G95.1 Vascular myelopathies

    • G95.11 Acute infarction of spinal cord (embolic) (nonembolic)
    • G95.19 Other vascular myelopathies

Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy refers to the symptoms caused by the pinching of a nerve root in the spinal column. Symptoms may include pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. The condition may occur at cervical, thoracic or lumbar areas in the spine.

  • M54.1 Radiculopathy
  • M54.10 …… site unspecified
  • M54.11 …… occipito-atlanto-axial region
  • M54.12 …… cervical region
  • M54.13 …… cervicothoracic region
  • M54.14 …… thoracic region
  • M54.15 …… thoracolumbar region
  • M54.16 …… lumbar region
  • M54.17 …… lumbosacral region
  • M54.18 …… sacral and sacrococcygeal region

Spine-related coding can be challenging and staying up to date with changing ICD and CPT codes and guidelines is essential to ensure accurate code assignment. Medical coding services provided by experienced companies help ensure accurate and timely claim filing and reimbursement.