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Iliotibial Band (ITB) Release for Runner's Knee


The iliotibial band (IT band) is a thick band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a common overuse injury that can affect athletes that engage in repetitive movements that involve the knee, such as tennis players, runners and cyclists.

ITBS occurs when the IT band becomes irritated and inflamed, usually as a result of repetitive stress or overuse. This can cause pain and discomfort on the outside of the knee, as well as tenderness and tightness in the IT band itself. The pain may be most noticeable during activity, especially when the knee is bent. It may improve with rest.


Treatment for ITBS typically involves a combination of rest, ice, stretching, and strengthening exercises. Physical therapy may also be helpful in correcting any underlying muscle imbalances or biomechanical issues that may be contributing to the problem. In some cases, a knee brace or other orthotic devices may be recommended to provide additional support and help relieve pressure on the IT band. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary to alleviate symptoms.



  • After surgery, you will be encouraged to rest for a few days to allow the soft tissues to settle.
  • You will be given guidance and information before discharge from hospital.
  • Rehabilitation is an important part of your treatment; you will need to work closely with a physiotherapist for your recovery.


As with any surgery, complications can occur. Risks include infection, blood clots (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), on-going stiffness and failure to improve, and reaction to anaesthesia. It is also possible that you may require further surgery in the future.