AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2020 Issue 4; Ask the Editor

Antibiotic cement spacer

A patient with failure of a previous rotator cuff repair presented with right infected proximal humerus osteomyelitis, retained foreign body, draining sinus and biceps tendinitis. Following irrigation and debridement of skin, muscle and bone associated with the draining sinus and osteomyelitis, a decision was made to remove the humeral head and replace it with an articulating antibiotic spacer. The spacer was cemented in place with a mix of gentamicin impregnated cement, vancomycin and tobramycin. In addition, when removing the humeral head, previously placed anchors were removed. Once everything was in place, a biceps tenodesis was performed. How is the use of the antibiotic cement captured? Is it appropriate to assign CPT code 11981? ...

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