Proper Coding of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve entrapment caused by pressure on the median nerve where it passes through the wrist. The median nerve supplies sensation to the thumb side of the palm, and to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and the thumb side of the ring finger.

treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

Patients with suspected carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) will probably undergo nerve conduction study (NCS) to rule out any other conditions that may demonstrate signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, such as peripheral neuropathy, cervical radiculopathy, brachial plexopahty or proximal median neuropathy.

CPT assigns codes 95900-95905 for NCSs, which are performed to aid in the diagnoses of diseases and injuries of the peripheral nervous system. (See CPT Assistant February 2008 for a more detailed review of NCSs).

Treatment for CTS (ICD-9-CM 354.0) aims to reduce the swelling and pressure on the median nerve, and may include the use of splints or braces, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections or surgery.

For corticosteroid injection, code CPT® 20526 Injection, therapeutic (e.g., local anesthetic, corticosteroid), carpal tunnel. Note that the administration code does not include the drug supply; the appropriate J-code should be used to bill for the drug.

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