Navigating ICD-10 Codes For Post Herpetic Neuralgia: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Post Herpetic Neuralgia?

Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) is a type of chronic nerve pain that occurs following an outbreak of shingles, a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles typically causes a painful rash on the skin, and PHN is a common complication that can develop after the rash has healed.

PHN is characterized by persistent, burning, stabbing, or shooting pain in the area where the shingles rash was present. The pain can be debilitating and often lasts for months or even years after the initial outbreak of shingles.

Code Information

MedsITNexus -  ICD--CM Diagnosis Code B.
MedsITNexus – ICD–CM Diagnosis Code B.

The ICD-10 code for Post Herpetic Neuralgia is G53.0. This code is used to classify and code PHN in medical records for billing and administrative purposes.

Diagnostic Related Groups (MS-DRG)

PHN falls under the Diagnostic Related Group (DRG) 074 – Cranial and Peripheral Nerve Disorders with MCC (Major Complications or Comorbidities). This DRG categorizes patients with nerve disorders, including PHN, for the purpose of reimbursement and resource allocation in healthcare settings.

Convert to ICD-9 Code

Billing and Coding for Shingles – A Painful Skin Condition
Billing and Coding for Shingles – A Painful Skin Condition

In the ICD-9 coding system, Post Herpetic Neuralgia is classified under code 053.13. This code is used to document and track cases of PHN in medical records prior to the adoption of the ICD-10 system.

Code History

The ICD-10 code for PHN, G53.0, was introduced in October 2015 as part of the updated coding system. This new code provided more specific classification for PHN cases and improved accuracy in reporting and tracking the condition.

Approximate Synonyms

ICD--CM Diagnosis Code B
ICD–CM Diagnosis Code B

Other terms used to describe Post Herpetic Neuralgia include post-shingles pain, herpes zoster neuropathy, and persistent post-herpetic neuralgia. These synonyms are often used interchangeably in medical literature and conversations among healthcare professionals.

Clinical Information

PHN is considered a chronic pain condition that affects the nerves and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The pain associated with PHN can be severe and persistent, leading to difficulty in performing daily activities and affecting mental health and well-being.


The exact cause of PHN is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the damage and inflammation of nerve fibers during a shingles outbreak. The varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles can remain dormant in nerve cells after the rash has healed and may reactivate later, leading to nerve pain and PHN.


The primary symptom of PHN is chronic nerve pain in the area where the shingles rash occurred. The pain is often described as burning, stabbing, or shooting, and may be accompanied by hypersensitivity to touch, itching, and numbness. Other symptoms may include fatigue, sleep disturbances, and mood changes.


PHN is typically diagnosed based on the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and a physical examination. Diagnostic tests such as nerve conduction studies, imaging tests, and skin biopsies may be ordered to rule out other conditions and confirm the diagnosis of PHN.


Treatment for Post Herpetic Neuralgia aims to relieve pain, improve quality of life, and prevent complications. Common treatment options include medications such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, topical creams, and nerve blocks. Physical therapy, acupuncture, and psychological counseling may also be recommended to manage pain and improve overall well-being.


Post Herpetic Neuralgia is a chronic nerve pain condition that can develop following an outbreak of shingles. It is characterized by persistent pain in the area where the shingles rash occurred and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential in managing PHN and improving symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Post Herpetic Neuralgia contagious?
No, PHN is not contagious. It is a complication of the shingles virus and is not spread from person to person.

2. Can Post Herpetic Neuralgia be cured?
There is no cure for PHN, but treatment can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.


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