Newly Revised "Common Procedure Codes" section in the 2016 ChiroCode DeskBook

March 29th, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the newly revised "Common Procedure Codes" section in the 2016 ChiroCode DeskBook. In this chapter we have provided an explanation, coding tips, suggested diagnoses, and modifier guidance for all your top CPT codes. If you find this sample helpful, make sure you order your own copy of the 2016 DeskBook. Special pricing is still available until 12/31/2015.


97012 Traction, mechanical, one or more areas


The force used to create a degree of tension of soft tissues and/or to allow for separation between joint surfaces. The degree of traction is controlled through the amount of force (pounds) allowed, duration (time), and angle of pull (degrees) using mechanical means. Terms often used in describing pelvic/cervical traction are intermittent or static (describing the length of time traction is applied), or auto traction (use of the body’s own weight to create the force).

Coding Tips

  • This code may only be billed once per patient, per encounter, regardless of time or number of areas treated. Roller table type traction normally meets the requirement of auto-traction, the use of the body’s own weight to create the force; yet payers may have specific coverage guidelines.

  • Unless clinically indicated, routine and/or extended use of roller tables for patient care should be avoided.

  • Some payers may deny payment if the device used is not FDA cleared. Review payer policy guidelines for this information.

  • Vertebral axial decompression, per session, should be reported with code S9090 unless the payer policy indicates that 97012 is an acceptable or preferred code to submit for decompression procedures.

  • “Flexion-distraction” technique is generally considered a Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment and should be reported with codes 98940-98942.


  • Adhesions, stiffness, arthritis, and compression.

Consider ICD-10 codes from the following groups:

M24 M47 M48 M50 M51 M53 M54 M62 M99


When billed on the same visit as 97012, it may be necessary to add an appropriate modifier to:

97018 97140

Newly Revised "Common Procedure Codes" section in the 2016 ChiroCode DeskBook. (2017, March 29). Find-A-Code Articles. Retrieved from

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