Health Information Management


JustCoding News: Outpatient, September 23, 2009

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Muscle aches and painful tendons and joints throughout the body, especially in the spine, are characteristic of fibromyalgia. Its causes are unknown.

Patients with fibromyalgia have trigger points on the body that are painful when touched. The condition is not associated with muscle, nerve, or joint injury, nor has it been linked to inadequate muscle repair or any serious muscle damage or disease. Having fibromyalgia doesn’t put someone at greater risk for any other musculoskeletal disease.

Fibromyalgia affects women seven times more than men. Onset of this condition generally occurs between ages 20 and 30. It affects approximately five million people in the United States (2% of the population).

There are no additional types/stages of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by a variety of common signs and symptoms including:

  • Widespread pain
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal symptoms
  • Psychological distress

People with fibromyalgia suffer from morning stiffness, tingling, and numbness in their hands and feet. They may experience migraine-like headaches and problems with memory and thinking. Patients also may suffer from painful menstrual periods. Often people with fibromyalgia suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, with bouts of diarrhea and constipation.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, and treatment doesn’t always alleviate symptoms. Symptoms seem to intensify with stress.

Treatment is different for each individual with fibromyalgia. Physicians take into account patient’s overall health, medical history, number of tender (trigger) points, pain severity, and presence of other symptoms. Treatment may include medications to decrease pain and increase sleep. Aerobic exercise can help improve heart and lung functions as well as flexibility and strength. Relaxation techniques can help relieve muscle tension.

Documentation and coding

ICD-9-CM coding
Just as little is understood about fibromyalgia, coding for the condition is also vague. Per ICD-9-CM, the term fibromyalgia maps to code 729.1. In ICD-10, fibromyalgia has its own code (M79.7).

  • Myalgia and myositis, unspecified: code 729.1

ICD-10-CM coding

  • Fibromyalgia including fibromyositis, fibrositis, myofibrositis: Code M79.7

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