Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | May 15, 2018

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common overuse running injuries. The iliotibial band is a fibrous band that runs longitudinally along the lateral aspect of the thigh from its origin at the iliac crest to the proximal tibia. Iliotibial band syndrome is associated with lateral knee pain that is most intense where the iliotibial band crosses the outside of the knee.

What causes Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

  • Significant increase in running duration, mileage or intensity
  • Weak hip muscles which lead to increased tension on the iliotibial band
  • Bow legged knee alignment
  • Running on the same side of a banked road or running the same direction on a track
  • Footwear with increased heel height and width, causing increased relative supination

Diagnosis of iliotibial band syndrome is by history and physical exam. Occasionally imaging with X-ray or MRI may be needed.

Treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and non-steroidal anti inflammatories as needed. For resistant cases a steroid injection at the distal iliotibial band may be helpful.
Also would add steroid injection at the distal IT band can be helpful in recalcitrant cases.

Running partners Jocelyn Wittstein, MD, and Melissa Raddatz, NP, work together at Duke Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Dr. Jocelyn Wittstein is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic surgery at Duke. She specializes in adolescent and adult sports injuries. She has run several marathons and is an age group competitor. She previously coached Team in Training marathon groups in Eastern North Carolina. Melissa Raddatz, NP enjoys treating athletes and sports enthusiasts of all ages and levels. She ran Division I Cross-Country and Track at William & Mary. She has run a 2:50 marathon and is a five time nominee for New York Road Runners “Runner of the Year.”


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