2022 ICD-10-CM Code J38.0

Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx

Version 2021

Not Valid for Submission

ICD-10:J38.0
Short Description:Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx
Long Description:Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx

Code Classification

  • Diseases of the respiratory system (J00–J99)
    • Other diseases of upper respiratory tract (J30-J39)
      • Diseases of vocal cords and larynx, not elsewhere classified (J38)

J38.0 is a non-specific and non-billable diagnosis code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of paralysis of vocal cords and larynx. The code is not specific and is NOT valid for the year 2022 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.

Specific Coding for Paralysis of vocal cords and larynx

Non-specific codes like J38.0 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 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

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 J38.0:


Inclusion Terms

Inclusion Terms
These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.

Information for Patients


Throat 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

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)