A condition that includes inflammation of the iliotibial band caused by friction of the band against the outer part of the knee joint. It is often associated with an overtight iliotibial band commonly found in patients with anatomical abnormalities, such as genu varum (bow legs). It is also common in long-distance runners who overpronate the foot and who run on heavily cambered roads. The syndrome is characterized by pain and tightness on the outside of the knee when running downhill or walking downstairs. The pain usually subsides when activity stops (see Noble test, Ober's test). Iliotibial band friction syndrome can be notoriously difficult to resolve. Conservative treatment includes rest from the precipitating activity, and correcting biomechanical or anatomical faults, ice treatment, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Steroid injections and surgery are used only when other treatment fails. Exercises that stretch the iliotibial band are an important part of successful rehabilitation.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.