Navigating The Codes: Understanding ICD-10 For Postherpetic Neuralgia

What is ICD 10 Postherpetic Neuralgia?

ICD 10 Postherpetic Neuralgia is a condition that occurs following an outbreak of shingles, a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Postherpetic neuralgia is a type of nerve pain that can persist for months or even years after the shingles rash has healed. It is a common complication of shingles, particularly in older adults.

Code Information

The ICD 10 code for postherpetic neuralgia is G53.0. This code is used to classify and report cases of postherpetic neuralgia in medical records. It helps healthcare providers track the prevalence and incidence of the condition, as well as monitor patient outcomes and treatment responses.

Diagnostic Related Groups (MS-DRG)

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

Postherpetic neuralgia is classified under MS-DRG 074 – Cranial and Peripheral Nerve Disorders with MCC. This DRG is used to group patients with similar diagnoses and treatment protocols for the purpose of billing and reimbursement.

Convert to ICD-9 Code

The equivalent ICD-9 code for postherpetic neuralgia is 053.19. This code was used prior to the implementation of ICD-10 and is still sometimes referenced in older medical records and databases.

Code History

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

The ICD 10 code for postherpetic neuralgia was introduced in 2015 as part of the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding systems. It was created to provide a more detailed and specific classification for postherpetic neuralgia cases.

Approximate Synonyms

Some approximate synonyms for postherpetic neuralgia include herpes zoster neuralgia, shingles pain, and persistent postherpetic pain. These terms are often used interchangeably with postherpetic neuralgia in medical literature and clinical practice.

Clinical Information

Trigeminal Postherpetic Neuralgia: From Pathophysiology to
Trigeminal Postherpetic Neuralgia: From Pathophysiology to

Postherpetic neuralgia is characterized by chronic pain in the areas affected by shingles. The pain can be sharp, burning, or stabbing, and may be accompanied by tingling or numbness. It can be debilitating and significantly impact a person’s quality of life.


The exact cause of postherpetic neuralgia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to damage or irritation of the nerves during a shingles outbreak. The varicella-zoster virus can remain dormant in the body after a person has had chickenpox, and reactivation of the virus can lead to shingles and subsequent nerve pain.


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

Common symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia include persistent pain, sensitivity to touch, itching, and numbness. The pain is usually localized to the area where the shingles rash was present, but it can also radiate to other parts of the body.


Diagnosis of postherpetic neuralgia is typically based on the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and physical examination. Imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans, may be ordered to rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms. Nerve conduction studies and skin biopsies may also be used to assess nerve function and damage.


Treatment for postherpetic neuralgia focuses on pain management and symptom relief. Medications such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and topical creams may be prescribed to help alleviate pain and improve nerve function. Physical therapy, nerve blocks, and acupuncture are also used as complementary treatments to reduce pain and improve quality of life.


ICD 10 Postherpetic Neuralgia is a debilitating condition that can persist for months or even years after a shingles outbreak. It is important for healthcare providers to accurately code and document cases of postherpetic neuralgia to ensure appropriate treatment and management. By understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for postherpetic neuralgia, healthcare professionals can provide better care and support for patients with this chronic pain condition.


1. Can postherpetic neuralgia be prevented?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent postherpetic neuralgia, but getting vaccinated against shingles can reduce the risk of developing the condition.

2. Is postherpetic neuralgia a permanent condition?

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