Current Clinical Concepts: Synthesizing the Available Evidence for Improved Clinical Outcomes in Iliotibial Band Impingement Syndrome

Paul R Geisler
Journal of Athletic Training 2021 August 1, 56 (8): 805-815
The current paradigm of insidious lateral knee pain involving the iliotibial band (ITB) in repetitive knee-flexion activities has been termed ITB friction syndrome since 1975. The original model for ITB pain was based on a limited or incorrect understanding of the relevant anatomy, biomechanics, and tissue science, which gradually led to a plethora of frustrating and ineffective interventional strategies. Mounting evidence from arthroscopic, cadaveric, and biomechanical studies, as well as from diagnostic imaging and histologic reports, has helped deconstruct this long-held paradigm for ITB-related pathology and treatment. By outlining the historical paradigm for our understanding of ITB pain and gathering newer evidence through extensive research, I will synthesize the available data in this clinical update to present an updated, more informed model for understanding insidious-onset ITB-related pathology and treating patients. The result is called ITB impingement syndrome.

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