IT Band Tendonitis

Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury resulting from the inflammation of iliotibial band. Iliotibial band is a tough group of fibers that begins at the iliac crest of hip and runs along the outside of the thigh, to get attached to the outer side of the shin bone just below the knee joint. Its function is to coordinate with the thigh muscles and provide stability the knee joint. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when the iliotibial band and the lower outside portion of the thigh bone at the knee joint rub against each other. It commonly occurs in athletes, cyclists, and runners.

Causes

Iliotibial band syndrome can occur from quickly increasing distances with running or biking type activities. Other predisposing factors associated with the injury include running on uneven surfaces, wearing improper fitting shoes, uneven leg length, a limp, muscle imbalance, over pronation of foot, and bowed legs.

Symptoms

Patients with iliotibial band syndrome may have pain on the outer side of the knee, swelling at the site of injury, and popping sensation may be felt when the knee is bent and then straightened. Pain may worsen after running, climbing stairs, and walking and reduced when your child is at rest.

Diagnosis

To diagnose the condition Dr. Patel will ask about the nature of pain, your activity level, participation in sports and other factors related to the condition. You will be asked about any related medical conditions that could be contributing to the condition. A careful physical examination of your hip and knee will be performed to identify and to rule out conditions with similar symptoms.

Conservative Treatment Options

The goal of the treatment is to reduce the inflammation and to relieve the pain. The treatment options include:

  • Rest: Allow the joint to rest to reduce the inflammation. Do not encourage your child to run or participate in any physical activity that may worsen the pain
  • Ice application: Ice packs should be applied to the site of injury which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin
  • Medications: Dr. Patel may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain and swelling
  • Foam roller myofascial release - A foam roller is used underneath the tight iliotibial band to loosen it. Although this is painful, it is one of the most useful stretches to relieve the tissues
  • Physical therapy: Physiotherapists will teach your child stretching exercises and techniques to loosen the tight structures. This exercise is done by holding the affected knee close to opposite armpit while keeping the other leg straight on the floor. These exercises help to strengthen the iliotibial band and the surrounding muscles

Surgical Treatment

If conservative treatment options fail to relieve the symptoms, then an injection may be necessary. Most cases of iliotibial band syndrome do not need surgery.