Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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.