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.