Surgical treatment of iliotibial band friction syndrome. A retrospective study of 45 patients

J O Drogset, I Rossvoll, T Grøntvedt
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 1999, 9 (5): 296-8
Iliotibial band friction syndrome is an overuse injury mainly affecting runners, but also other athletes. The treatment of choice is conservative. If this treatment is unsuccessful, surgical treatment can be performed. The posterior half of the iliotibial band is transsected where it passes over the lateral epicondyle of the femur. Optionally the underlying bursa is removed. Between 1989 and 1996 45 patients were operated in Trondheim. The mean age was 27 (14-46) years. Of the patients, 22 (48.9%) had excellent results, 16 (35.5%) had good results, 6 (13.3%) had fair results and 1 (2.2%) patient had a poor result. One patient had a minor postoperative infection. Had the postoperative result been known beforehand, 75.6% of the patients would have been operated on again. We conclude that surgical treatment of iliotibial band friction syndrome produces good results in patients with insufficient relief of symptoms after conservative treatment.

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