Quarter 3, 2018 Coding Clinic addressed the coding of lumbar spondylolisthesis with radiculopathy.
There is no available combination code which identifies both conditions so it is necessary to code both the spondylolisthesis (M43.1-) AND the radiculopathy (M54.1-) according to the anatomic site.
You should NOT use a code from category M51.1- “M51.1 Thoracic, thoracolumbar and lumbosacral intervertebral disc disorders with radiculopathy” because spondylolisthesis is not an intervertebral disc disorder.
They stated: “In spondylolisthesis, the bony vertebra slips. A disc disorder typically involves herniation or displacement of the interior disc.” – AHA Coding Clinic 2018; Volume 5 Issue 3
These definitions are now considered official and should be kept in mind when making a code selection (e.g., M51- intervertebral disc disorder codes).
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