Cracking The Code: Understanding Post Herpetic Neuralgia ICD-10

What is Post Herpetic Neuralgia ICD 10?

Post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a type of nerve pain that occurs following a shingles infection. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. In some cases, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.

Code Information

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

The ICD-10 code for post herpetic neuralgia is B02.21. This code is used to classify and code for the condition in medical records and billing purposes. It is important to use the correct code for accurate documentation and reimbursement.

Diagnostic Related Groups (MS-DRG)

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

Post herpetic neuralgia falls under MS-DRG 074 – Cranial and Peripheral Nerve Disorders without Major Complication or Comorbidity. This DRG category is used to group together similar conditions for billing and reimbursement purposes.

Convert to ICD-9 Code

The equivalent ICD-9 code for post herpetic neuralgia is 053.12. This code was used prior to the implementation of ICD-10 coding system and is no longer in use for new medical records.

Code History

The ICD-10 code for post herpetic neuralgia was introduced in 2016 as part of the update to the coding system. It replaced the previous ICD-9 code 053.12 for this condition.

Approximate Synonyms

Some approximate synonyms for post herpetic neuralgia include herpes zoster neuralgia, shingles pain, and zoster-associated pain. These terms may be used interchangeably to describe the same condition.

Clinical Information

Post herpetic neuralgia is characterized by persistent pain that occurs in the areas where the shingles rash was present. The pain can be sharp, burning, or stabbing in nature and may last for months or even years after the shingles rash has healed.


Post herpetic neuralgia is caused by damage to the nerves during a shingles infection. The varicella-zoster virus can damage nerve fibers, leading to ongoing pain signals being sent to the brain even after the rash has healed.


The main symptom of post herpetic neuralgia is chronic pain in the affected area. This pain can be debilitating and affect daily activities. Other symptoms may include hypersensitivity to touch, numbness, and tingling.


Post herpetic neuralgia is diagnosed based on a patient’s medical history, symptoms, and physical examination. Imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans may be ordered to rule out other causes of nerve pain.


Treatment for post herpetic neuralgia may include pain medications, topical creams, nerve blocks, physical therapy, and counseling. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to alleviate nerve compression and reduce pain.


Post herpetic neuralgia is a challenging condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort for those affected. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to managing symptoms and improving quality of life for patients with PHN.


Q: Is post herpetic neuralgia the same as shingles?
A: Post herpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, characterized by ongoing nerve pain after the rash has healed.
Q: How long does post herpetic neuralgia last?
A: Post herpetic neuralgia can last for months or even years in some cases.
Q: What are the risk factors for developing post herpetic neuralgia?
A: Advanced age, weakened immune system, and severe shingles rash are common risk factors for developing PHN.
Q: Can post herpetic neuralgia be prevented?
A: Getting the shingles vaccine can reduce the risk of developing shingles and post herpetic neuralgia.
Q: Are there any alternative treatments for post herpetic neuralgia?

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