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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Magnetic resonance imaging of iliotibial band syndrome

E F Ekman, T Pope, D F Martin, W W Curl
American Journal of Sports Medicine 1994, 22 (6): 851-4
7856812
Seven cases of iliotibial band syndrome and the pathoanatomic findings of each, as demonstrated by magnetic resonance imaging, are presented. These findings were compared with magnetic resonance imaging scans of 10 age- and sex-matched control knees without evidence of lateral knee pain. Magnetic resonance imaging signal consistent with fluid was seen deep to the iliotibial band in the region of the lateral femoral epicondyle in five of the seven cases. Additionally, when compared with the control group, patients with iliotibial band syndrome demonstrated a significantly thicker iliotibial band over the lateral femoral epicondyle (P < 0.05). Thickness of the iliotibial band in the disease group was 5.49 +/- 2.12 mm, as opposed to 2.52 +/- 1.56 mm in the control group. Cadaveric dissections were performed on 10 normal knees to further elucidate the exact nature of the area under the iliotibial band. A potential space, i.e., a bursa, was found between the iliotibial band and the knee capsule. This series suggests that magnetic resonance imaging demonstrates objective evidence of iliotibial band syndrome and can be helpful when a definitive diagnosis is essential. Furthermore, correlated with anatomic dissection, magnetic resonance imaging identifies this as a problem within a bursa beneath the iliotibial band and not a problem within the knee joint.

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