ICD-10-CM Code M46.4

Discitis, unspecified

Version 2020 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

M46.4 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of discitis, unspecified. The code is NOT valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:M46.4
Short Description:Discitis, unspecified
Long Description:Discitis, unspecified

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • M46.40 - ... site unspecified
  • M46.41 - ... occipito-atlanto-axial region
  • M46.42 - ... cervical region
  • M46.43 - ... cervicothoracic region
  • M46.44 - ... thoracic region
  • M46.45 - ... thoracolumbar region
  • M46.46 - ... lumbar region
  • M46.47 - ... lumbosacral region
  • M46.48 - ... sacral and sacrococcygeal region
  • M46.49 - ... multiple sites in spine

Clinical Information

  • DISCITIS-. inflammation of an intervertebral disc or disk space which may lead to disk erosion. until recently discitis has been defined as a nonbacterial inflammation and has been attributed to aseptic processes e.g. chemical reaction to an injected substance. however recent studies provide evidence that infection may be the initial cause but perhaps not the promoter of most cases of discitis. discitis has been diagnosed in patients following discography myelography lumbar puncture paravertebral injection and obstetrical epidural anesthesia. discitis following chemonucleolysis especially with chymopapain is attributed to chemical reaction by some and to introduction of microorganisms by others.

Code Classification

  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (M00–M99)
    • Spondylopathies (M45-M49)
      • Other inflammatory spondylopathies (M46)

Code History

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

Information for Patients


Spine Injuries and Disorders

Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bone discs called vertebrae. The vertebrae protect your spinal cord and allow you to stand and bend. A number of problems can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue. They include

  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Tumors
  • Conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and scoliosis
  • Bone changes that come with age, such as spinal stenosis and herniated disks

Spinal diseases often cause pain when bone changes put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. They can also limit movement. Treatments differ by disease, but sometimes they include back braces and surgery.


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