2021 ICD-10-CM Code J38

Diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified

Version 2021

Not Valid for Submission

J38 is a non-specific and non-billable diagnosis code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified. The code is not specific and is NOT valid for the year 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. Category or Header define the heading of a category of codes that may be further subdivided by the use of 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th characters.

ICD-10:J38
Short Description:Diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified
Long Description:Diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified

Code Classification

Specific Coding for Diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified

Non-specific codes like J38 require more digits to indicate the appropriate level of specificity. Consider using any of the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity when coding for diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified:

  • NON-BILLABLE CODE - J38.0 for Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.00 for Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx, unspecified
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.01 for Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx, unilateral
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.02 for Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx, bilateral
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.1 for Polyp of vocal cord and larynx
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.2 for Nodules of vocal cords
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.3 for Other diseases of vocal cords
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.4 for Edema of larynx
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.5 for Laryngeal spasm
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.6 for Stenosis of larynx
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use J38.7 for Other diseases of larynx

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with coding notes and guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code J38:


Use Additional Code

Use Additional Code
The “use additional code” indicates that a secondary code could be used to further specify the patient’s condition. This note is not mandatory and is only used if enough information is available to assign an additional code.

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.

Information for Patients


Throat Disorders

Also called: Pharyngeal disorders

Your throat is a tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx. The technical name for your throat is the pharynx.

Throat problems are common. You've probably had a sore throat. The cause is usually a viral infection, but other causes include allergies, infection with strep bacteria or the leaking of stomach acids back up into the esophagus, called GERD.

Other problems that affect the throat include

Most throat problems are minor and go away on their own. Treatments, when needed, depend on the problem.


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Voice Disorders

Also called: Vocal disorders

Voice is the sound made by air passing from your lungs through your larynx, or voice box. In your larynx are your vocal cords, two bands of muscle that vibrate to make sound. For most of us, our voices play a big part in who we are, what we do, and how we communicate. Like fingerprints, each person's voice is unique.

Many things we do can injure our vocal cords. Talking too much, screaming, constantly clearing your throat, or smoking can make you hoarse. They can also lead to problems such as nodules, polyps, and sores on the vocal cords. Other causes of voice disorders include infections, upward movement of stomach acids into the throat, growths due to a virus, cancer, and diseases that paralyze the vocal cords.

Signs that your voice isn't healthy include

Treatment for voice disorders varies depending on the cause. Most voice problems can be successfully treated when diagnosed early.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Code History

  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016 (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)