iliotibial band syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (or iliotibial band pain syndrome, iliotibial band friction syndrome) causes sharp or burning pain of the lateral side of the knee during exercise. There is point tenderness over the lateral femoral head where the iliotibial band1 repeatedly snaps back and forth across the bony prominence of the end of the femur. (Pain of the front of the knee implies patellofemoral syndrome.) Treatment is relative rest through exercise reduction, postexercise icing, NSAIDs, and physical therapy for muscle strenghthening exercises and stretching of the iliotibial band.

1. The iliotibial band is a large tendon that connects the hip (ilium) to the lateral side of the shin bone (tibia). Hence the name. It narrows from a broad band several inches wide at the ilium to a narrow tendon that passes over the outer edge of the femur (the condyle) at the knee. During walking, running, or pedalling, this tendon moves back and forth against the condyle, causing friction and irritation.

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