Updated CPT Codes—effective January, 2011
Diagnostic Ultrasound examinations require permanently recorded images, clinically appropriate measurements and a written report.
The CPT codes for musculoskeletal ultrasound are:
CPT 76881: Ultrasound, extremity, nonvascular, real-time with image documentation, complete.
CPT Guidelines: A complete ultrasound examination of an extremity consists of real-time scans of a specific joint that includes examination of the muscles, tendons, joint, other soft tissue structures, and any identifiable abnormality.
CPT 76882: Ultrasound, extremity, nonvascular, real-time with image documentation, limited, anatomic specific.
CPT Guidelines: A limited, anatomic-specific ultrasound examination is performed primarily for evaluation of muscles, tendons, joints, and/or soft tissues. It is a limited examination where a specific anatomic structure such as a tendon or muscle [Moderator Note: or plantar fascia] is being assessed. The code would be used to evaluate a soft-tissue mass that may be present in an extremity where knowledge of its cystic or solid characteristic is needed.
Code 76942: Ultrasonic guidance for needle placement (e.g. Biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device) imaging supervision and interpretation
* Codes are to be used in conjunction with the related ICD9 Procedure codes.
CPT Code/Value search:
To obtain information about Medicare’s relative value payment amount associated with the codes go to:
It is recommended to always check with your insurance carrier and AMA for updates and guidelines.