ITB Friction Syndrome - The Joint Injection Clinic

How to Diagnose and Manage ITB Friction Syndrome?

Knee Steroid (cortisone) injection London

ITB friction syndrome (ITBFS) is a painful condition involving the outer side of the knee that is often seen in long distance runners. The Ilio-Tibial Band (ITB) is a length of dense soft tissue that runs along the outer side of the thigh and attaches to the outer side of the knee, below the kneecap.


ITBFS tends to affect runners, and classically causes pain at a certain time or distance point into a run that is fairly reproducible. Pain is localised to The outer part of the knee where the band runs over the bony prominence at the end of the thigh bone.


With repeated bending and straightening of the knee during a long run the IT band can rub repeatedly against the bony prominence on the outer side of the knee. This results in “friction” and inflammation which causes pain. The classic ‘burning’ pain usually settles after a run and tends to be significantly aggravated during a run.


The diagnosis of ITB friction syndrome is often made based on the history and reproducible discomfort in the outer side of the knee with repeated bending and straightening of the knee on examination. On MRI or ultrasound imaging one can see fluid and inflammation between the bony prominence on the outside of the knee and the IT band running superficial to it.


Patients with ITB friction syndrome often benefit from seeing a physiotherapist, who will look at overall movement patterns as well as looking closely at the mechanics of the feet which can have a big impact on pain in the outer side of the knee.  Sometimes individuals have ongoing pain despite appropriate rehabilitation and gait retraining and in this circumstance may benefit from an ultrasound-guided injection carefully targeted between the IT band and the deeper bony prominence.


If you would like to book a rapid-access appointment at either our Golders Green or Chelsea clinic locations then please call 0208 0046659, visit www.thejointinjectionclinic.com or email [email protected] for further information.