ICD-10-CM Code M49.81

Spondylopathy in diseases classified elsewhere, occipito-atlanto-axial region

Version 2020 Billable Code Manifestation Diagnoses

Valid for Submission

M49.81 is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of spondylopathy in diseases classified elsewhere, occipito-atlanto-axial region. The code is valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:M49.81
Short Description:Spond in diseases classd elswhr, occipt-atlan-ax region
Long Description:Spondylopathy in diseases classified elsewhere, occipito-atlanto-axial region

Code Edits

The Medicare Code Editor (MCE) detects and reports errors in the coding of claims data. The following ICD-10 Code Edits are applicable to this code:

  • Manifestation diagnoses - Manifestation codes describe the manifestation of an underlying disease, not the disease itself, and therefore should not be used as a principal diagnosis.

Diagnostic Related Groups

The ICD-10 code M49.81 is grouped in the following groups for version MS-DRG V37.0 What are Diagnostic Related Groups?
The Diagnostic Related Groups (DRGs) are a patient classification scheme which provides a means of relating the type of patients a hospital treats. The DRGs divides all possible principal diagnoses into mutually exclusive principal diagnosis areas referred to as Major Diagnostic Categories (MDC).
applicable from 10/01/2019 through 09/30/2020.

  • 551 - MEDICAL BACK PROBLEMS WITH MCC
  • 552 - MEDICAL BACK PROBLEMS WITHOUT MCC

Convert M49.81 to ICD-9

  • 720.81 - Spondylopathy in oth dis (Approximate Flag)

Code Classification

  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (M00–M99)
    • Spondylopathies (M45-M49)
      • Spondylopathies in diseases classified elsewhere (M49)

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


Neck Injuries and Disorders

Any part of your neck - muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, or nerves - can cause neck problems. Neck pain is very common. Pain may also come from your shoulder, jaw, head, or upper arms.

Muscle strain or tension often causes neck pain. The problem is usually overuse, such as from sitting at a computer for too long. Sometimes you can strain your neck muscles from sleeping in an awkward position or overdoing it during exercise. Falls or accidents, including car accidents, are another common cause of neck pain. Whiplash, a soft tissue injury to the neck, is also called neck sprain or strain.

Treatment depends on the cause, but may include applying ice, taking pain relievers, getting physical therapy or wearing a cervical collar. You rarely need surgery.


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