SUPERSEDED Local Coverage Determination (LCD)

Injections - Tendon, Ligament, Ganglion Cyst, Tunnel Syndromes and Morton's Neuroma


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Proposed LCD
Proposed LCDs are works in progress that are available on the Medicare Coverage Database site for public review. Proposed LCDs are not necessarily a reflection of the current policies or practices of the contractor.
To see the currently-in-effect version of this document, go to the section.

Document Note

Note History

Contractor Information

LCD Information

Document Information

Source LCD ID
Original ICD-9 LCD ID
Not Applicable
LCD Title
Injections - Tendon, Ligament, Ganglion Cyst, Tunnel Syndromes and Morton's Neuroma
Proposed LCD in Comment Period
Source Proposed LCD
Original Effective Date
For services performed on or after 10/01/2015
Revision Effective Date
For services performed on or after 10/01/2019
Revision Ending Date
Retirement Date
Notice Period Start Date
Notice Period End Date
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Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein.

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Issue Description
Issue - Explanation of Change Between Proposed LCD and Final LCD

CMS National Coverage Policy

Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 1862(a)(1)(A) allows coverage and payment for only those services that are considered to be medically reasonable and necessary.

Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Section 1833(e). This section prohibits Medicare payment for any claim which lacks the necessary information to process the claim.

CMS Manual System, Pub. 100-03, Medicare National Coverage Determinations Manual, Chapter 1, Part 2, §150.7.

Coverage Guidance

Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity

This policy addresses the injection of chemical substances, such as local anesthetics, steroids, sclerosing agents and/or neurolytic agents into ganglion cysts, tendon sheaths, tendon origins/insertions, ligaments or near nerves of the feet (e.g., Morton's neuroma) to affect therapy for a pathological condition.

Note: the term "Morton's neuroma" is used in this policy generically to refer to a swollen inflamed nerve in the ball of the foot, including the more specific conditions of Morton's neuroma (lesion within the third intermetatarsal space), Heuter's neuroma (first intermetatarsal space), Hauser's neuroma (second intermetatarsal space) and Iselin's neuroma (fourth intermetatarsal space). This policy applies to each.

Injection of a carpal tunnel or tarsal tunnel is indicated for the patient with a mild case of these syndromes, with or without a trial of other conservative measures, such as oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or orthoses.

Injection into tendon sheaths, ligaments, tendon origins or insertions, ganglion cysts, neuromas or other areas described by this policy may be indicated to relieve pain or dysfunction resulting from inflammation or other pathological changes. Proper use of this modality with local anesthetics and/or steroids should be short-term, as part of an overall management plan including diagnostic evaluation, in order to clearly identify and properly treat the primary cause. In some circumstances after diagnosis has been confirmed, injection of a sclerosing or neurolytic agent may be appropriate for longer-term management.

The signs or symptoms that justify these treatments should be resolved or reevaluated after one to three injections (see reference 2 below, under "Sources of Information and Basis for Decision"). Injections beyond three to the same tendon origin/insertion, tendon sheath, ganglion, neuroma, ligament or local area in a six month period must be justified by the clinical record indicating a logical reason for failure of the prior therapy and why further treatment can reasonably be expected to succeed. A recurrence may justify a second course of therapy.

Medical necessity for injections of more than two sites at one session or for frequent or repeated injections is questionable. Such injections are likely to result in a request for medical records which must evidence careful justification of necessity.

"Dry needling" of ganglion cysts, ligaments, neuromas, tendon sheaths and their origins/insertions are non-covered procedures.

Compliance with the provisions in this policy is subject to monitoring by post payment data analysis and subsequent medical review.

Summary of Evidence


Analysis of Evidence (Rationale for Determination)


Proposed Process Information

Synopsis of Changes
Changes Fields Changed
Associated Information
Sources of Information
Open Meetings
Meeting Date Meeting States Meeting Information
Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) Meetings
Meeting Date Meeting States Meeting Information
MAC Meeting Information URLs
Proposed LCD Posting Date
Comment Period Start Date
Comment Period End Date
Reason for Proposed LCD
Requestor Information
This request was MAC initiated.
Requestor Name Requestor Letter
View Letter
Contact for Comments on Proposed LCD

Coding Information

Bill Type Codes

Code Description

Revenue Codes

Code Description


Group 1

Group 1 Paragraph


Group 1 Codes



ICD-10-CM Codes that Support Medical Necessity

Group 1

Group 1 Paragraph:


Group 1 Codes:



ICD-10-CM Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity

Group 1

Group 1 Paragraph:


Group 1 Codes:



Additional ICD-10 Information

General Information

Associated Information
Sources of Information
1. Scientific American Medical; Physiatry Section, PRMA; Rheumatology Section, PRMA.

2. Snider RK. Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care. Greene WF. ed. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; 1997:39.


Revision History Information

Revision History Date Revision History Number Revision History Explanation Reasons for Change
10/01/2019 R4

As required by CR 10901, all billing and coding information has been moved to the companion article, this article is linked to the LCD.

At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all of the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Revisions Due To Code Removal
05/22/2017 R3 This LCD is the result of DL34076 being released to final.
  • Creation of Uniform LCDs Within a MAC Jurisdiction
10/01/2016 R2 LCD is revised to add/delete the following diagnosis codes effective 10/1/16:
Added codes: G56.03, G57.53, G5763, S0341XA, S0341XD, S0341XS, S0342XA, S0342XD, S0342XS, S0343XA, S0343XD and S0343XS.
Deleted codes: S03.4XXA, S03.4XXD and S03.4XXS.

Part A contract numbers are added to this LCD.

  • Creation of Uniform LCDs Within a MAC Jurisdiction
  • Revisions Due To ICD-10-CM Code Changes
10/01/2015 R1 This LCD is revised to remove the paragraph, “When requesting an individual consideration through the written redetermination (formerly appeal) process, providers must include all relevant medical records and literature that supports the request. “ from the Associated Information field.
  • Other (Removed the paragraph, “When requesting an individual consideration through the written redetermination (formerly appeal) process, providers must include all relevant medical records and literature that supports the request.”)

Associated Documents

Related National Coverage Documents
Public Versions
Updated On Effective Dates Status
02/10/2022 10/01/2019 - N/A Currently in Effect View
01/29/2020 10/01/2019 - N/A Superseded View
09/18/2019 10/01/2019 - N/A Superseded You are here
Some older versions have been archived. Please visit the MCD Archive Site to retrieve them.


  • 20526
  • 20527
  • 20550
  • 20551
  • 20612
  • 26341
  • 64455
  • injection
  • tendon
  • ligament
  • ganglion cyst
  • tunnel morton's
  • neuroma
  • carpal
  • tarsal

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