CPT code 29888 can be billed for knee joint tissue examination with an arthroscope and anterior cruciate ligament repair.
1. What Is CPT Code 29888?
CPT 29888 covers the examination of knee joint tissue with an arthroscope. First, they identify a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament.
Then, they take tissue from somewhere else (donor or from the patient) and use it to repair the anterior cruciate ligament.
The description of CPT 29888 is defined in the CPT book as: “Arthroscopically aided anterior cruciate ligament repair/augmentation or reconstruction.”
The 29888 CPT code procedure aims to improve joint mobility and relieve pain. This procedure starts with prepping and anesthetizing the patient before the surgeon makes the incisions in the patient’s knee.
Then, they insert the arthroscope through an incision and inflate the knee joint area with saline solution for a better view.
The provider finds the tear in the anterior cruciate ligament and uses other instruments to repair it. If the tissue for repairing the ligament comes from the patient, the provider harvests it first.
They then use tissue grafts to augment the anterior cruciate ligament.
Once the procedure is completed, they:
- remove the instruments;
- do checks for bleeding;
- irrigate the knee joint area; and
- close the incision(s).
4. Billing Guidelines
The CPT 29888 procedure is often performed with a surgical assistant. You can not report this separately with some payers. In this case, bill only surgical assistant as long as the provider can show the medical necessity to the patient’s insurer.
Append modifier 80 to the claim if the payer accepts the assistant provider’s charge.