What is ITB syndrome, and how do you get it?

Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITB syndrome) can respond very well to ultrasound-guided steroid injection. Many marathon and long distance runners will experience ITB syndrome at some time in their training. The problem often coincides with high volumes of training mileage and therefore is oftentimes experienced when training is tapered upward in preparation for long distance events such as marathons, half marathons and Iron Man. This is a problem that is also common amongst cyclists.

ITB syndrome refers to irritation of the iliotibial tract as it passes over the lateral epicondyle (outside) of the distal femur (thigh bone). First-line treatments should include a full assessment and biomechanical analysis relating to pelvis, hips, knees and ankle during their main aggravating activity – usually either running or cycling. Identification of specific muscle weaknesses or restriction of joint or soft tissue mobility can be addressed through physiotherapy (therapeutic exercise, tissue manipulation and rehabilitation). However, even when such aggravating factors have been addressed patients may still continue to experience some degree of pain. Also, in reality patients may not have the time left prior to their event to fully address all of these mechanical factors as these can take time to resolve.

This is where an ultrasound guided injection of steroid can have an important role in quickly reducing the patient’s symptoms and allowing them to continue with their training and that all important race!

Steroid injections can take 3-5 days to exert there affect therefore if considering a steroid injection to get you through a specific event we recommend is having the injection ideally not less than 5 days before to maximise the chances of it working in time.

The injection itself is quite superficial and therefore does not enter into the knee joint nor does it go directly around any tendons therefore it is usually considered safe to begin running again after 24-48 hours post injection.

Our expert clinicians will normally provide a full musculoskeletal and functional assessment as well as an ultrasound scan of evaluation to help decide if a steroid injection is appropriate. Patient’s will be screened for potential contraindications and advised of potential risks and precautions prior to the injection.

Related conditions, blogs and patient’s stories from our specialists

Our highly experienced team of expert clinicians have written a selection of blogs on various treatment methods for ITB syndrome, some stories from patients that came to us seeking relief from their knee pain, as well as explanations of other knee conditions that might be causing your pain. Please take a look at any of the following links and get in touch with us if you think you are suffering from any of these conditions and may require treatment.



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