What is an ICD-10 Code?

Modified on Mon, 13 Jun 2022 at 03:46 AM

ICD-10 Coding is the international classification of diseases, this is the diagnostic coding standard that was adopted by South African National Department of Health in 1996 to classify the diagnosis of treatment performed for medical procedures performed in and out of hospital. 


ICD-10 Codes usually have a letter and two digits, these can further break down into perils to having sub points with one – two digits. (Eg. S82.0)

S82 is the ICD-10 Sub-class. The description of S82 is Fracture of lower leg

S82.0 is the ICD-10 Code with the peril included. The description of S82.0 is Fracture of patella 

There may be multiple ICD-10 codes on a provider invoice for primary and secondary ICD-10 codes.

A primary ICD-10 Code is the first diagnosis code the provider uses when they first see the patient. 

A secondary ICD-10 Code is the second diagnosis code shown on the account, when the attending doctors have examined the patient. This gives more specific detail on the incident and where in the body the treatment refers to.

A tertiary ICD-10 Code is the third diagnosis code that provides more information on how the event occurred. 




Patricia’s surgeon’s account reflects the following ICD-10 (Diagnosis) Codes: 

S82.20, S82.40, W18.99. 


1. The primary ICD-10 Code is S82.20: Fracture of lower leg, Fracture of shaft of tibia.

2. The secondary ICD-10 Code is S82.40: Fracture of lower leg, Fracture of fibula alone

3. The tertiary ICD-10 Code is W18.99: Other fall on same level

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