Iliotibial Band Syndrome

7/27/2018 | J. Todd Davis, MD

What is Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB syndrome)?

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB syndrome) is a painful condition of the lateral side of the knee. It is caused by repetitive friction of the IT band on the bone on the side of the knee called the lateral femoral condyle. 

ITB syndrome is commonly seen in long distance runners or cyclists who have recently increased mileage or intensity of their training regimen. 

How are diagnoses are made?

Diagnoses are made by sports medicine specialists, but occasionally an MRI is ordered to rule out other possible causes of lateral knee pain. 


Treatment is aimed at reducing the friction forces of the ITB over the lateral femoral condyle. This is accomplished with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, relative rest, and physical therapy (PT). 

Physical therapy addresses tightness in the IT band, hip weakness, and other biomechanical errors that lead to the friction syndrome. 

Steroid injections are occasionally used to reduce local inflammation. Surgery is rarely needed. 

If you are experiencing pain

If you are experiencing pain over the outside of the knee and have increased training intensity or frequency, call to schedule an appointment at (614) 846-5625

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