Surgical treatment of iliotibial band friction syndrome with the mesh technique

Chanchit Sangkaew
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2007, 127 (4): 303-6
Iliotibial band friction syndrome is an overuse injury caused by repetitive friction of the iliotibial band across the lateral femoral epicondyle. It has been reported to afflict long-distance runners, cyclists and military personnel. Initial treatments include rest, anti-inflammatory medication, modalities (ice or heat), stretching, physical therapy, and possibly a corticosteroid injection. If the conservative treatment is unsuccessful, surgery has been advocated. This report describes a new surgical technique to release the pressure on the lateral femoral epicondyle in a patient who failed the nonoperative efforts. The surgery was performed with the knee held in 30 degrees of flexion and consisted of multiple 2 mm long incisions across the fiber of the iliotibial band covering the lateral femoral epicondyle. There were six incisions, each of which was 4 mm apart. The incisions were spontaneously enlarged and changed to several punctured wounds (mesh appearance) by the tension of iliotibial band, resulted in relaxing the tight iliotibial band over the lateral femoral epicondyle. At the final follow-up 2 years after surgery the patient was pain free and could resume his previous occupational activities. The surgical result of the present technique is encouraging.

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