Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Hip iliotibial band syndrome is inflammation of the iliotibial band, a stretch of fibrous tissue that runs from the hip to below the knee, on the outer side of the leg. It occurs in conjunction with repetitive irritation of the iliotibial band and is often found in runners who are pushing themselves too hard during training.

Hip iliotibial band syndrome typically occurs at the end of the thigh bone where there is a bursa (fluid-filled cavity), which should facilitate a smooth gliding motion. When inflamed, the iliotibial band does not glide easily, and hip iliotibial band syndrome is the result.

The experts of Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital can diagnosis and successfully treat iliotibial band syndrome.

Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain over the outside of the knee joint
  • Swelling at the location of discomfort
  • A snapping or popping sensation as the knee is bent

Endurance athletes are especially prone to developing hip iliotibial band syndrome. Athletes who suddenly increase their level of activity, such as runners who increase their mileage, often develop it.

Treatment for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Treatment is designed to alleviate inflammation and rarely includes surgery. Your doctor may recommend the following:

  • A decrease in the activity that caused the hip iliotibial band syndrome
  • Icing the area
  • NSAID pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Cortisone shots if other treatments have failed

Once your hip iliotibial band syndrome inflammation is under control, you may be advised to begin a physical therapy program that focuses on both stretching and strengthening the hip and knee. Runners, cyclists and other endurance athletes should find cross-training techniques that allow maintenance of their endurance while keeping discomfort in check.

When you have found a way to modify your training to ease the strain on the iliotibial band, chances are good your hip iliotibial band syndrome will not return.

If all else fails, snapping iliotibial band syndrome is treated with surgery. This includes a minimally invasive surgery to “window” or open the tendon to decrease friction.