2021 ICD-10-CM Code S04.049

Injury of visual cortex, unspecified side

Version 2021

Not Valid for Submission

S04.049 is a non-specific and non-billable diagnosis code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of injury of visual cortex, unspecified side. 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.

The ICD-10-CM code S04.049 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like visual cortex injury.

Unspecified diagnosis codes like S04.049 are acceptable when clinical information is unknown or not available about a particular condition. Although a more specific code is preferable, unspecified codes should be used when such codes most accurately reflect what is known about a patient's condition. Specific diagnosis codes should not be used if not supported by the patient's medical record.

ICD-10:S04.049
Short Description:Injury of visual cortex, unspecified side
Long Description:Injury of visual cortex, unspecified side

Code Classification

Coding Guidelines

The appropriate 7th character is to be added to each code from block Injury of cranial nerve (S04). Use the following options for the aplicable episode of care:

Specific Coding for Injury of visual cortex, unspecified side

Non-specific codes like S04.049 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 injury of visual cortex, unspecified side:

  • BILLABLE CODE - Use S04.049A for initial encounter
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use S04.049D for subsequent encounter
  • BILLABLE CODE - Use S04.049S for sequela

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 S04.049:


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.

Approximate Synonyms

The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

Information for Patients


Traumatic Brain Injury

Also called: Acquired brain injury, TBI

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Half of all TBIs are from motor vehicle accidents. Military personnel in combat zones are also at risk.

Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:

Health care professionals use a neurological exam and imaging tests to assess TBI. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment. Treatment and outcome depend on how severe the injury is. TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. TBI can be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with severe injuries usually need rehabilitation.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Vision Impairment and Blindness

Also called: Low vision

If you have low vision, eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery may not help. Activities like reading, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV may be hard to do. The leading causes of low vision and blindness in the United States are age-related eye diseases: macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. Other eye disorders, eye injuries, and birth defects can also cause vision loss.

Whatever the cause, lost vision cannot be restored. It can, however, be managed. A loss of vision means that you may have to reorganize your life and learn new ways of doing things. If you have some vision, visual aids such as special glasses and large print books can make life easier. There are also devices to help those with no vision, like text-reading software and braille books.

The sooner vision loss or eye disease is found and treated, the greater your chances of keeping your remaining vision. You should have regular comprehensive eye exams by an eye care professional.

NIH: National Eye Institute


[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)