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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The iliotibial band is thick tissue that extends from the pelvis and hip to the knee along the outside of the leg. With certain overuse activities, iliotibial (IT) band syndrome can develop, which is inflammation of this band at both the hip and the knee.

IT Band Syndrome

Medical illustration leg muscles

IT Band Syndrome

Patients often describe pain on the outside of hip, difficulty lying on the side, pain with running, and radiating pain to the knee. This is a common injury in runners and those who participate frequently in hiking, cycling, and weight lifting.

Treatment includes a short course of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc.) and physical therapy to work on stretching the IT band. Physical therapy often includes foam roller massage of the IT band to aid in stretching. Ultrasound is occasionally used.

IT band syndrome typically resolves over four to six weeks. If IT band syndrome does not resolve with conservative care, an arthroscopic trochanteric bursectomy with IT band release may be indicated.

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