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Coding Tip of the Month – January 2019

Partial Knee Joint Replacements

The knee has three compartments — the medial compartment (inside aspect of the knee), the lateral compartment (outside of the knee) and the patellofemoral compartment (in front of the knee). In some knee osteoarthritis patients, only one compartment of the knee is affected. It is usually the medial compartment that is affected but the lateral compartment can be involved, but it is less common.

A partial or unicondylar knee replacement, as its name suggests, replaces only the affected compartment of the knee. On the other hand, a total knee replacement involves replacement of all three compartments of the knee.

On October 1st 2018 Three new device values for unicondylar synthetic substitutes were added for partial knee joint prosthesis to the following tables: 0SP Removal of Lower Joints and 0SR Replacement of Lower Joints. These devices values are:

L Synthetic Substitute, Unicondylar Medial
M Synthetic Substitute, Unicondylar Lateral
N Synthetic Substitute, Patellofemoral

These changes enable the capture of additional detail for partial knee arthroplasty procedures. The new values will allow tracking outcomes to differentiate medial unicompartmental, lateral unicompartmental and patellofemoral arthroplasty.