George P. Ackerman, M.D.

Illiotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS or ITBFS) is a common condition in the outer thigh, frequently caused by repetitive hiking, running, weight lifting and cycling. This pain on the outer “bony” prominence of the knee is most commonly seen after a sudden increase in training or transition of training from flat to hilly terrain.

Although iliotibial band syndrome is due to excessive tension in the iliotibial band in the thigh, it causes lateral knee pain during flexion and extension. The iliotibial band (ITB) is a superficial thickening of tissue that develops on the outer part of the thigh, extending outside the pelvis, over the hip and knee, inserting just below the knee. The Iliotibial band plays an important role in stabilizing the knee when running. When this structure is not properly stretched prior to repetitive bending and straightening of the knee, a blister-like swelling and inflammation develop in the deep tissues of the outer knee.

Symptoms usually include a sharp, stinging feeling above the knee joint, swelling, and thickening of the thigh tissue at the location where the band moves over the femur. However, pain may not occur immediately during exercise but will increase as your feet continue to make contact with the ground.

If you would like to know more about the iliotibial band syndrome, schedule a consultation with orthopedic expert Dr. Ackerman today by calling (516) 243-8506.

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(516) 243-8506


Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine