Iliotibial band friction syndrome: MR imaging findings in 16 patients and MR arthrographic study of six cadaveric knees

C Muhle, J M Ahn, L Yeh, G A Bergman, R D Boutin, M Schweitzer, J A Jacobson, P Haghighi, D J Trudell, D Resnick
Radiology 1999, 212 (1): 103-10

PURPOSE: To define magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings in patients with the iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS) and to correlate these findings with anatomic features defined at magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography in cadavers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The anatomic relationship of the iliotibial tract (ITT) to the lateral recesses of the knee joint and the lateral femoral epicondyle was investigated with MR arthrography at full extension and at 30 degrees and 60 degrees of knee flexion in six cadaveric knees. Seventeen MR imaging studies in 16 patients with ITBFS were evaluated.

RESULTS: In the cadaveric study, no interference of the lateral synovial recess with the lateral femoral epicondyle at full extension and at 30 degrees and 60 degrees of knee flexion was observed. In all specimens, correlation of MR images with macroscopic and microscopic sections revealed no primary bursa between the lateral femoral epicondyle and the ITT. In clinical studies, MR imaging findings of poorly defined signal intensity abnormalities or circumscribed fluid collections were located in a compartmentlike space confined laterally by the ITT and medially by the meniscocapsular junction, the lateral collateral ligament, and the lateral femoral epicondyle.

CONCLUSION: MR imaging accurately depicts the compartmentlike distribution of signal intensity abnormalities in patients with ITBFS.

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