Corpectomy ICD-10, cage, recovery, complications | Lumbar & Cervical Corpectomy


A corpectomy is an operation that removes all or part of the vertebral body (Latin: corpus vertebrae, therefore called corpectomy), usually as a way of decompressing the spinal cord and nerves. Corpectomy is often performed in conjunction with some form of discectomy.

When the spinal vertebrae has been removed, the surgeon performs a spinal fusion. As the space in the column left after operation, it needs to be filled with a block of bone taken from the pelvis or one of the legs of the bone or manufactured. This bone graft keeps separation between these vertebrae and holds them firm and tight. As it heals, the vertebrae develop together and fuse.

Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) is performed in patients with symptomatic progressive cervical spinal stenosis and myelopathy. It is done to remove large arthritic osteophytes  that are causing compression of the spinal cord and spinal nerves. However, in order to do this it is usually removed spinal body and the disc that need to be replaced by a part of the bone graft and connected together to firmly to maintain stability.

The operation is performed by means of general anesthesia. A breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is placed and the patient inhales through artificial ventilation system during surgery. Preoperative antibiotics are given intravenously. Patients are lying down (lying on the back), usually using a standard flat table. The surgical zone (neck) is cleaned with a special cleansing solution. Sterile drapes are placed and surgically sterile surgical gowns and gloves are used to keep the bacteria-free environment.

Corpectomy ICD-10, cage, recovery, complications | Lumbar & Cervical Corpectomy

Corpectomy Recovery

Recovery after corpectomy may take months but it highly depends upon surgical approach being uitilized at the time of operation, incision size, number of vertebral disc removed etc. Post-operative care is much important in this whole scenario because of  infection risk and spine comfortability. Moreover, right body posture and improved diet may be required to speed up the process of recovery.

Corpectomy Complications

Some commonly observed post-operative complications of corpectomy are

  • Infection
  • Dysphagia
  • Graft dislocation
  • Screw losening
  • Injury to spinal cord
  • Cervical malalignment
  • postoperative epidural hematoma
  • Pseudoarthrosis

Corpectomy Cages

Several types of inter body cages are used in spinal surgery e.g the titanium mesh cage, stackable cage systems and expandable cages . The use of expandable cages has increased in popularity due to their ease of placement and ability to correct segmental deformity. After selecting an appropriate size, the expandable cage cell is placed in the disk and the ends of the cage are aligned with the frontal planes of the spinal vertebral body above and below the corpectomy level.

Corpectomy ICD-10

M43.22 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes

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