• Requirement of X Placeholder


    Question: We have a patient who was sent to us for flashes in the right eye after being hit in the eye by a foul ball. I see ICD-10 code W51 Striking against or struck accidentally in sports without subsequent fall,” but am unsure how to use it.

    Answer: The appropriate diagnosis is flashes H53.19 Other subjective visual disturbances. No laterality. External cause codes are only needed for third-party liability insurance like workers’ compensation. They provide supporting documentation.

    ICD-10 code W51 is seven characters long, ending in A, D or S. Because there are no other characters associated (at present) for this code, the Xs are placeholders. You are correct. The code for initial care would be W51.XXXA.

    Learn more about diagnosis codes in the ICD-10-CM for Ophthalmology.