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Documenting and Coding Golfer’s Elbow – a Common Elbow Condition

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Golfer's elbow is an overuse injury that causes pain on the inside of the elbow. This article discusses the symptoms, treatment and related medical codes.

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Documenting and Coding Golfer’s Elbow – a Common Elbow Condition

  1. 1. Documenting and Coding Golfer’s Elbow – a Common Elbow Condition Golfer's elbow is an overuse injury that causes pain on the inside of the elbow. This article discusses the symptoms, treatment and related medical codes. Outsource Strategies International 8596 E. 101st Street, Suite H Tulsa, OK 74133
  2. 2. www.outsourcestrategies.com 918-221-7769 Golfer’s elbow is a condition that causes severe pain on the inner side of your elbow. Also called medical epicondylitis, this condition is similar to that of tennis elbow and causes inflammation or degeneration of the tendon around the bony bump on the inner side of the joint. Generally, this condition occurs due to repetitive stress on the tendons. Any action which places excessive strain on the forearm muscles combined with inadequate rest will tend to overwork the muscles, causing severe pain that may normally spread to the forearm and wrist. This elbow condition may restrict or affect a person’s ability to perform his/her routine activities. However, with proper rest and appropriate treatment options, one can get back into the swing of things. Orthopedists and sports medicine specialists treating this condition can depend on the services of reliable medical billing companies in order to meet their claim submission tasks. Understanding the Symptoms Golfer’s elbow is more common among golfers or tennis players who repeatedly use or clench their fingers. However, this doesn’t mean that this condition is fully limited to sports people. It can also occur among middle- aged, non-sporting people – both men and women. Symptoms associated with medial epicondylitis may be mild or severe. These symptoms may sometimes develop slowly, particularly when the condition occurs due to an overuse. However, in the event of injury, these symptoms may develop suddenly. Common symptoms associated with the condition include –  Pain and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow  Stiffness and weakness in joint curve  Restriction of movement or bending of wrists  Numbness or a tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers (generally ring and little fingers)  Deformed elbows  A weak grip  A weakened wrist and stiff elbow In some cases, the pain may become worse or increase in severity when the affected person swings a golf club or racket, pitches a ball, shakes hands, turns a door knob or lifts weights. Potential risk factors associated with the condition include – age above 40 years, obesity, habit of smoking and performing a repetitive activity at least two hours a day.
  3. 3. www.outsourcestrategies.com 918-221-7769 Diagnosing and Treating Golfers Elbow Generally, golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis is diagnosed by evaluating the detailed medical history and performing a physical exam of patients. In order to evaluate the type and severity of pain and elbow stiffness, physical therapists may apply direct pressure to the affected areas and ask patients to move their hand, wrist and fingers in different ways. They may also conduct comprehensive imaging studies like X-ray and MRI scan to rule out any other causes of this condition such as joint fracture or arthritis. One of the best strategies to reduce the onset of pain is to put a hold on playing golf or other repetitive activities that cause pain. Icing the affected elbow for at least 15-20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days and wearing a counterforce brace on the affected arm can help reduce swelling, pain and muscle strain. Physicians may also suggest stretching and strengthening exercises that help patients get back to their normal activities. Over-the-counter pain medications may also be prescribed to achieve pain relief. Orthopedics medical billing and coding can be difficult, as it involves different code categories. The diagnosis and other screening tests performed by orthopedists or other specialists need to be documented using the correct medical codes. Medical billing services offered by a reliable medical billing company can help physicians use the relevant medical codes to bill for the procedure. ICD–10 and CPT codes to report Golfers Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis include – ICD-10 Codes M77 - Other enthesopathies  M77.0 - Medial epicondylitis  M77.00 - Medial epicondylitis, unspecified elbow  M77.01 - Medial epicondylitis, right elbow  M77.02 - Medial epicondylitis, left elbow CPT Codes  24345 - Repair medial collateral ligament, elbow, with local tissue  24346 - Repair medial collateral ligament, elbow, with tendon graft, including graft harvest  24357 - Percutaneous medial or lateral epicondyle tenotomy
  4. 4. www.outsourcestrategies.com 918-221-7769  24358 - Medial or lateral epicondyle debridement  24359 - Medial or lateral epicondyle debridement with tendon repair or reattachment Recognizing the prominent causes of this elbow condition is one of the first steps towards prevention. Patients need to take adequate rest from activities to reduce inflammation so that the tendon injury can heal. It is also essential to modify job activities and avoid repetitive movements of the hand. Knowing the correct medical codes related to Golfer’s elbow is critical for healthcare providers. Partnering with a reliable and experienced medical billing outsourcing company is important for physicians to ensure accurate and timely claim submissions.