Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury resulting from the inflammation of the iliotibial band. An iliotibial band is a tough group of fibers that begins at the iliac crest of the hip and runs along the outside of the thigh to get attached to the outer side of the shinbone, just below the knee joint. Its function is to coordinate with the thigh muscles and provide stability to the knee joint. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when the iliotibial band and the lower outside portion of the thighbone at the knee joint rub against each other. It commonly occurs in athletes, cyclists and runners.
Iliotibial band syndrome can occur by quickly increasing distances with running or biking-type activities. Other predisposing factors associated with the injury include running on uneven surfaces, wearing improper fitting shoes, uneven leg length, muscle imbalance, over pronation of the foot and bowed legs.
Children with iliotibial band syndrome may experience pain on the outer side of the knee, swelling at the site of injury, and popping sensation when the knee is bent and then straightened. Pain may worsen after running, climbing stairs and walking, and reduce when at rest.
The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The treatment options include:
Ensure that your child wears appropriate shoes while running to prevent further damage to the iliotibial band.