CPT Code 26140 | Description & Clinical Information

CPT 26140 describes the surgical removal of the synovial membrane over the proximal interphalangeal joint, along with reconstruction of the extensor tendons, typically performed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and is applicable to a single IP joint.

Official Description

The CPT book defines CPT code 26140 as: “Synovectomy, proximal interphalangeal joint, including extensor reconstruction, each interphalangeal joint”.

Clinical Information

The procedure described by CPT code 26140 is a surgical technique used to reconstruct and repair the extensor tendons of the fingers. This procedure is typically performed to restore the function of the proximal interphalangeal, or IP joint. The IP joint is the joint that is located between the two bones of the finger and is responsible for allowing the finger to bend or extend.

Before the procedure is performed, the patient must be properly prepared and anesthetized to ensure their comfort and safety during the procedure. Once the patient is ready, the provider makes an incision in the skin over the IP joint, targeting the proximal joint that is located farther from the tip of the finger.

The provider then goes on to divide the soft tissues surrounding the joint and reaches the joint itself. They enter the joint capsule and remove the synovial membrane that covers the joint. This membrane is responsible for producing the fluid that lubricates the joint and helps it move smoothly.

With the synovial membrane removed, the provider can begin the reconstruction and repair of the extensor tendons that allow the finger to straighten. This may involve reattaching a tendon that has been torn or repairing a tendon that has become damaged due to injury or disease.

Once the reconstruction and repair have been completed, the provider closes the incision with sutures. It is important to note that this procedure should be billed with the code 26140 for each IP joint that the provider operates on.

The recovery process following a 26140 procedure can vary depending on the extent of the reconstruction and repair that was performed. In most cases, patients will experience some level of pain and discomfort in the affected finger or fingers, as well as swelling and stiffness. Patients should take any pain medication prescribed by their provider and follow any physical therapy or rehabilitation routines as directed.

In conclusion, the 26140 procedure is an essential surgical technique used to restore the function of the IP joint and repair the extensor tendons of the fingers. Proper preparation, precision, and care are crucial during this procedure to ensure the best outcomes for patients. If you are a provider considering this procedure for one of your patients, it is important to become familiar with its nuances and billing codes.

Return to all the CPT codes for excision procedures on the hand and fingers.

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