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Iliotibial Band Syndrome (cont.)

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Symptoms

Knee pain is the primary symptom due to inflammation as the iliotibial band slides across the femoral condyle on the outside, or lateral, aspect of the knee. Pain is most severe with the heel strike of walking or running and may radiate from the knee up the leg to the hip. Pain may also be felt with knee flexing, especially going up or down steps.

Physical examination may reveal general tenderness over the site of the iliotibial band insertion at the knee joint, and specific tender points may be felt over the lateral femoral condyle where the bursa is located. The examination may find some weakness or imbalance of the quadriceps muscles (those in front of the thigh that extend the knee) and the hamstring muscles located in the back of the thigh that flex the knee.

The iliotibial band may also be tight. Its flexibility can be determined by the health-care provider as the patient is taken through a variety of stretches. The Thomas test and the Ober test are the names of two maneuvers that may be helpful in assessing the flexibility of the tensor fascia latae, the gluteal muscles, and the iliotibial band.

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