When the long tendon of the fascia lata muscle, which goes down the outside of the thigh to the knee (known as iliotibial or IT band), rubs against the outside of the knee joint causing pain, friction, and swelling, it is known as the iliotibial band friction syndrome.
The orthopedic surgeon may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs, for instance, ibuprofen. This treatment is effective in the initial stage to address the pain and swelling associated with this condition. However, it will likely not be beneficial in the long run, especially if it is used only for symptomatic relief and not as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Sometimes the doctor may use electrotherapeutic treatment approaches such as ultrasound or TENS to mitigate the swelling and pain. Orthopedic surgery may only be recommended in rare cases.
If the patient receives sports massage on the iliotibial band, it can help loosen and relax tissues. In this area, myofascial release techniques have proven to be quite effective. In case the condition is acute or prolonged, the doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid injection to be delivered in the area of the irritation for pain relief.
Southern California Hip Institute (SCHI), led by board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan, provides treatments for the hip and knee to patients in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and surrounding communities.
The treatment for IB band syndrome involves massage, modification and stretching as well as the strengthening of the impacted limb. The primary objective is to reduce the friction of the of the iliotibial band as it moves over the femoral condyle.
On top of this, the doctor may refer the patient to a physical therapist who specializes in the treatment of the iliotibial band syndrome.
A majority of runners with low mileage are responsive to a treatment plan comprising anti-inflammatory meds and stretching. But high mileage or professional runners may require a more intensive treatment plan.
The initial objective of the IB band syndrome treatment should involve reducing the swelling using ice and anti-inflammatory medicines.
The success of this treatment depends on patient education and modifications in their activities. The patient should not undertake any activity that involves repetitive knee flexion and extension.
The patient may swim regularly to maintain their cardiovascular health during the treatment. The treatment provider may consider a local corticosteroid injection if noticeable inflammation or pain with ambulation remains for over three days after the treatment begins.
The patient should start with a stretching regimen that works on the iliotibial band, hip flexors, and plantar flexors as the acute swelling subsides. The common iliotibial band stretches have been assessed for their efficacy in stretching the IB band.
After the patient can perform the stretches without pain, a strengthening regimen should be started. Strength training should ideally be a vital component in the regimen of any runner. But IB band syndrome patients require special emphasis on the gluteus medius muscle.
The patient should only resume running after they are able to undertake all strength exercises painlessly. Experienced orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan receives patients from North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and nearby areas for various orthopedic surgery procedures.
Dr. Tigran Garabekyan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation. To learn more about Southern California Hip Institute or to schedule a consultation, click here to contact us or call:
Serving patients in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, West Hollywood, Century City, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and other neighboring cities in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
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