8. CPT codes 64400-64530 describe injection of anesthetic agent for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, the codes being distinguished from one another by the named nerve and whether a single or continuous infusion by catheter is utilized. All injections into the nerve including branches described (named) by the code descriptor at a single patient encounter constitute a single unit of service(UOS). For example:
(1) If a physician injects an anesthetic agent into multiple areas around the sciatic nerve at a single patient encounter, only one UOS of CPT code 64445 (injection, anesthetic agent; sciatic nerve, single) may be reported.
(2) If a physician injects the superior medial and lateral branches and inferior medial branches of the left genicular nerve, only one UOS of CPT code 64450 (Injection, anesthetic agent; other peripheral nerve or branch) may be reported regardless of the number of injections needed to block this nerve and its branches.
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections involve injecting a steroid into the epidural space of the cervical spinal canal where irritated nerve roots are located. The injected medications include both a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic (Lidocaine, Bupivacaine).
The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation, while the anesthetic interrupts the pain-spasm cycle and nociceptor transmission (Boswell 2007). The medicines spread to the most painful levels of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.