Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB syndrome)

By: J. Todd Davis, M.D.

July 27, 2018

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.

  • 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 over the outside of the knee and have increased training intensity or frequency, contact us for an appointment at (614) 846-5625.

J. Todd Davis, M.D.

Dr. Davis is one of our sports medicine physicians that practices at the COPC Sports, Spine & Joint location. After completing his family medicine residency and sports medicine fellowship, he served as a team physician for the Arizona Diamondbacks. With his well-rounded background and extensive knowledge of sports medicine, he is able to provide expert care to COPC patients.

Learn More