Iliotibial Band Syndrome
(IT Band Syndrome)
Iliotibial Band Syndrome Overview
The iliotibial band (IT band) is a thick band of fibers that begins at the
iliac crest (the border of the most prominent bone of the pelvis) in the pelvis
and runs on the lateral or outside part of the thigh until it attaches into the
tibia (shinbone). The gluteal or buttock muscle fibers and the tensor fascia
latae (muscles of the hip joint) attach to it, and the band acts to coordinate
muscle function and stabilize the knee during running.
Iliotibial band syndrome describes the pain caused by inflammation of the
band as it crosses the lateral condyle of the femur. When the leg is in a
straight (known as extended) position, the band fibers are anterior to, or in
front of, the condyle (a bony projection on the femur, or thigh bone). As the
knee flexes, the fibers move across the condyle and are positioned behind or
posterior to it. A bursa or sac in this area allows the iliotibial band to glide
over the end of the femur.
When the band becomes irritated, friction may occur with walking or running,
causing knee pain due to inflammation on the lateral part of the knee joint.
If symptoms are ignored, further inflammation and scarring may occur in the
bursa, causing progressive pain with decreased activity.
|Picture of Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome
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