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 have been removed, the surgeon performs a spinal fusion. As the space in the column left after the 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 the separation between these vertebrae and holds them firm and tight. As it heals, the vertebrae develop together and fuse.

Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion are 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, to do this, it is usually removed the 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 using general anaesthesia. A breathing tube (endotracheal tube) is placed, and the patient inhales through the 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 unique cleaning 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 utilized at the time of operation, incision size, number of vertebral discs removed etc. Post-operative care is much essential in this whole scenario because of infection risk and spine comfortability. Moreover, the 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 loosening
  • Injury to the spinal cord
  • Cervical malalignment
  • postoperative epidural hematoma
  • Pseudoarthrosis


Corpectomy Cages


Several types of interbody 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 the segmental deformity. After selecting an appropriate size, the scalable 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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