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The iliotibial band is a connective tissue that supports the outside of the leg and knee, stretching from the outside of the pelvic bone down to the top of the tibia. This strong fascia tissue stabilizes the outside of the leg and knee, adding extra support to keep the knee aligned. In some cases, the iliotibial band can become tight and create friction when sliding over the bottom of the femur at the top of the knee joint, causing pain and other symptoms. This is called iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, and treatment is available at Robotic Joint Center in NYC.

Causes and Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome

IT band syndrome is a common injury in runners, athletes and other individuals. Long distance runners are particularly susceptible to IT band syndrome. This is due to repetitive bending and straightening of the knee which can irritate the iliotibial band at the bottom of the femur. Other people who are at high risk for IT band syndrome include those with weakness in the hip abductor muscles or bursitis in the hip. Multiple issues can contribute to IT band syndrome and painful symptoms, which include:

  • Pain on the upper outside of the knee
  • Swelling above the knee
  • Popping sensation when running
  • Increased pain when descending stairs or running

IT band syndrome is usually not caused by a traumatic injury but develops with repetitive use, and symptoms usually become worse over time.

Most IT band syndrome cases can be treated with conservative methods. Physical therapy is usually recommended to strengthen muscles and stretch tightened tissue. If hip bursitis is present, treatment of the bursitis can help alleviate IT band symptoms. In severe cases where conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be recommended to relieve stress on the iliotibial band.

If you are experiencing symptoms of IT band syndrome, contact our team at our orthopedic clinic in UES New York City to schedule an exam and consultation with our knee specialist. We can offer an accurate diagnosis and advanced iliotibial (IT) band syndrome treatment.

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