ICD-10 Diagnosis Code S81

Open wound of knee and lower leg

Diagnosis Code S81

ICD-10: S81
Short Description: Open wound of knee and lower leg
Long Description: Open wound of knee and lower leg
This is the 2018 version of the ICD-10-CM diagnosis code S81

Not Valid for Submission
The code S81 is a "header" and not valid for submission for HIPAA-covered transactions.

Code Classification
  • Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00–T98)
    • Injuries to the knee and lower leg (S80-S89)
      • Open wound of knee and lower leg (S81)

Information for Medical Professionals

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries
References found for the code S81 in the Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries:

  • 7th Characters:
    • The appropriate 7th character is to be added to each code from category S81
  • Type 1 Excludes Notes:
    • open fracture of knee and lower leg (S82.-)
    • traumatic amputation of lower leg (S88.-)
  • Type 2 Excludes Notes:
    • open wound of ankle and foot (S91.-)
  • Code Also:
    • any associated wound infection

Information for Patients


Knee Injuries and Disorders

Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have knee problems. Knee problems can cause pain and difficulty walking.

Knee problems are very common, and they occur in people of all ages. Knee problems can interfere with many things, from participation in sports to simply getting up from a chair and walking. This can have a big impact on your life.

The most common disease affecting the knee is osteoarthritis. The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, causing pain and swelling.

Injuries to ligaments and tendons also cause knee problems. A common injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). You usually injure your ACL by a sudden twisting motion. ACL and other knee injuries are common sports injuries.

Treatment of knee problems depends on the cause. In some cases your doctor may recommend knee replacement.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

  • ACL reconstruction (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Anterior crucate ligament (ACL) injury (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury -- aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Anterior knee pain (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Baker cyst (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Broken kneecap - aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Collateral ligament (CL) injury -- aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Getting your home ready - knee or hip surgery (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Knee arthroscopy (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Knee MRI scan (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Knee pain (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Meniscus tears -- aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease (Medical Encyclopedia)

[Read More]

Leg Injuries and Disorders

Your legs are made up of bones, blood vessels, muscles, and other connective tissue. They are important for motion and standing. Playing sports, running, falling, or having an accident can damage your legs. Common leg injuries include sprains and strains, joint dislocations, and fractures.

These injuries can affect the entire leg, or just the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. Certain diseases also lead to leg problems. For example, knee osteoarthritis, common in older people, can cause pain and limited motion. Problems in your veins in your legs can lead to varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis.

  • Blount disease (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Bowlegs (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Common peroneal nerve dysfunction (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Femoral nerve dysfunction (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Femur fracture repair - discharge (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Foot, leg, and ankle swelling (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Iliotibial band syndrome -- aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Ischemic ulcers -- self-care (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Knock knees (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Leg pain (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Shin splints - self-care (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Tibial nerve dysfunction (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Venous insufficiency (Medical Encyclopedia)

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Wounds and Injuries

Also called: Traumatic injuries

An injury is damage to your body. It is a general term that refers to harm caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and more. In the U.S., millions of people injure themselves every year. These injuries range from minor to life-threatening. Injuries can happen at work or play, indoors or outdoors, driving a car, or walking across the street.

Wounds are injuries that break the skin or other body tissues. They include cuts, scrapes, scratches, and punctured skin. They often happen because of an accident, but surgery, sutures, and stitches also cause wounds. Minor wounds usually aren't serious, but it is important to clean them. Serious and infected wounds may require first aid followed by a visit to your doctor. You should also seek attention if the wound is deep, you cannot close it yourself, you cannot stop the bleeding or get the dirt out, or it does not heal.

Other common types of injuries include

  • Animal bites
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Dislocations
  • Electrical injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Bleeding (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Crush injury (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Cuts and puncture wounds (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Electrical injury (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Gunshot wounds -- aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • How wounds heal (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Laceration - sutures or staples - at home (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Lacerations - liquid bandage (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Surgical wound care (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Surgical wound infection - treatment (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Wet to dry dressing changes (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Wound care centers (Medical Encyclopedia)

[Read More]

ICD-10 Footnotes

General Equivalence Map Definitions
The ICD-10 and ICD-9 GEMs are used to facilitate linking between the diagnosis codes in ICD-9-CM and the new ICD-10-CM code set. The GEMs are the raw material from which providers, health information vendors and payers can derive specific applied mappings to meet their needs.

  • Approximate Flag - The approximate flag is on, indicating that the relationship between the code in the source system and the code in the target system is an approximate equivalent.
  • No Map Flag - The no map flag indicates that a code in the source system is not linked to any code in the target system.
  • Combination Flag - The combination flag indicates that more than one code in the target system is required to satisfy the full equivalent meaning of a code in the source system.

Index of Diseases and Injuries Definitions

  • And - The word "and" should be interpreted to mean either "and" or "or" when it appears in a title.
  • Code also note - A "code also" note instructs that two codes may be required to fully describe a condition, but this note does not provide sequencing direction.
  • Code first - Certain conditions have both an underlying etiology and multiple body system manifestations due to the underlying etiology. For such conditions, the ICD-10-CM has a coding convention that requires the underlying condition be sequenced first followed by the manifestation. Wherever such a combination exists, there is a "use additional code" note at the etiology code, and a "code first" note at the manifestation code. These instructional notes indicate the proper sequencing order of the codes, etiology followed by manifestation.
  • Type 1 Excludes Notes - 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.
  • Type 2 Excludes Notes - A type 2 Excludes note represents "Not included here". An excludes2 note indicates that the condition excluded is not part of the condition represented by the code, but a patient may have both conditions at the same time. When an Excludes2 note appears under a code, it is acceptable to use both the code and the excluded code together, when appropriate.
  • Includes Notes - This note appears immediately under a three character code title to further define, or give examples of, the content of the category.
  • Inclusion terms - List of terms is included under some codes. 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.
  • NEC "Not elsewhere classifiable" - This abbreviation in the Alphabetic Index represents "other specified". When a specific code is not available for a condition, the Alphabetic Index directs the coder to the "other specified” code in the Tabular List.
  • NOS "Not otherwise specified" - This abbreviation is the equivalent of unspecified.
  • See - The "see" instruction following a main term in the Alphabetic Index indicates that another term should be referenced. It is necessary to go to the main term referenced with the "see" note to locate the correct code.
  • See Also - A "see also" instruction following a main term in the Alphabetic Index instructs that there is another main term that may also be referenced that may provide additional Alphabetic Index entries that may be useful. It is not necessary to follow the "see also" note when the original main term provides the necessary code.
  • 7th Characters - Certain ICD-10-CM categories have applicable 7th characters. The applicable 7th character is required for all codes within the category, or as the notes in the Tabular List instruct. The 7th character must always be the 7th character in the data field. If a code that requires a 7th character is not 6 characters, a placeholder X must be used to fill in the empty characters.
  • With - The word "with" should be interpreted to mean "associated with" or "due to" when it appears in a code title, the Alphabetic Index, or an instructional note in the Tabular List. The word "with" in the Alphabetic Index is sequenced immediately following the main term, not in alphabetical order.

Present on Admission
The Present on Admission (POA) indicator is used for diagnosis codes included in claims involving inpatient admissions to general acute care hospitals. POA indicators must be reported to CMS on each claim to facilitate the grouping of diagnoses codes into the proper Diagnostic Related Groups (DRG). CMS publishes a listing of specific diagnosis codes that are exempt from the POA reporting requirement.

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