CPT Code 29877 | Description, Procedure & Billing Guidelines (2022)
CPT 29877 can be used if a provider examines a knee joint with an arthroscope and repairs or reshapes articular cartilage.
1. What Is CPT Code 29877?
CPT 29877 covers an examination of the knee joint with an arthroscope. The surgeon also repairs the knee joint and reshapes the articular cartilage that covers the socket and the ball. Finally, the damaged tissue is trimmed or shaved.
This procedure aims to improve mobility and relieve the patient of pain in the knee joint.
The CPT book officially describes the 29877 CPT code as: “Arthroscopy, knee, surgical; debridement/shaving of articular cartilage (chondroplasty).”
The procedure (as described by CPT 29877) starts with prepping and anesthetizing the patient before making incisions in the knee. Then, they use one of these incisions to access the knee joint with an arthroscope.
Next, they use saline solution to expand the area around the patient’s knee joint to improve the view. Finally, the knee joint is inspected before the surgeon uses instruments to shave the surfaces or reshape the cartilage lining.
Once the articular cartilage is shaved or debrided, they rinse the knee area, check for bleeding, close the incisions and remove the surgical instruments.
4. How To Use CPT Code 29877
Suppose the surgeon performs a diagnostic arthroscopy and discovers they must perform an open repair of a previously unknown condition. In that case, you can report both the open repair and the diagnostic arthroscopy with modifier 59.
You can use CPT 29881 and CPT 29880 if the procedure is performed with arthroscopic meniscectomy.
Do not use CPT 29877 with a surgical code. Diagnostics are always involved in surgical endoscopy or arthroscopy.