Rupture of the posterior tibial tendon: CT and surgical findings

Radiology. 1988 May;167(2):489-93. doi: 10.1148/radiology.167.2.3357960.


Computed tomography (CT) was performed in 42 patients with 49 clinically suspected tears of the posterior tibial tendon. Twenty-eight of the 49 suspected tears were subsequently surgically explored and repaired. Three patterns of tendon abnormalities were recognized on CT scans: type I-intact, hypertrophied, heterogeneous tendon; type II-attenuated tendon; and type III-absence of a portion of a tendon. Types I and II correlated with partial rupture seen during surgery, and type III correlated with complete rupture of the tendon. CT findings were accurate in 96% of the patients who underwent surgery. In four cases (14%), tendon rupture was seen on CT scans, but the extent of the injury was underestimated and the rupture was misclassified. Reactive periostitis of the distal tibia was seen in 71% of diseased tendons and may represent an important factor in the diagnosis of tendon rupture.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rupture
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*