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Endoscopic IT Band Release

What is the IT band?

The iliotibial (IT) band is thick band of tissue called fascia that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee.  It functions to stabilize both the hip and knee joints.

IT Band Syndrome is a common painful athletic injury that results when the iliotibial band becomes irritated and inflamed as it rubs against the thigh bone during hip or knee range of motion. The main symptoms are pain on the outside (lateral) part of hip and knee. It is often caused by overuse or repetitive motion found in running, cycling or climbing up and down stairs, and can be caused by trauma such as a fall onto the outside of the hip. There may also be swelling and warmth in the affected area, which can be due to inflammation of the surrounding bursa (bursitis) or injury/tears to nearby tendons.

IT band syndrome near the hip can cause external snapping hip syndrome. External snapping hip syndrome is the sensation of hip snapping or popping on the outside of the hip when you move your hips caused by the IT band moving over the thigh bone called the greater trochanter. Snaping hip can lead to greater trochanteric bursitis. Bursitis is the thickening of the fluid filled sac that provides cushioning and smooth movement of the muscles over the bone.

The expert team at LALL Orthopedics+ will review your medical history and inquire about your symptoms and including the athletics or daily activities that cause your symptoms. They will perform a focused physical examination and check for symptoms like clicking or catching that occurs with range of motion to the hip or knee. They will likely order imaging studies such as an X-Ray or MRI to rule out other conditions, such as tendon tears, and confirm the diagnosis.

When IT band syndrome is confirmed, conservative management such as focussed physical therapy or minimally invasive regenerative medicine injections such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) or Stem-Cell therapy is the most common initial treatment and often provides relief of symptoms. In some cases, minimally invasive outpatient surgery may be necessary to partially release the inflammed iliotibial band.

Endoscopic IT band release is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used to treat a variety of hip and knee disorders including:

  • IT band syndrome
  • External snapping hip syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Persistent pain on the outside of the knee
  • Gluteus medius tears
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome coexisting with external snapping hip.

IT Band release may be combined with hip arthroscopy to treat FAI and snapping hip.
The goal is to release a tight IT band to relieve hip and knee pain when conservative measures have failed to resolve your symptoms.

IT band release involves the insertion of a small 4mm camera to visualize the iliotibial band. Once the band is located, the clinicians at LALL Orthopedics+ will use tiny surgical instruments to release the band from the underlying tissue.

Endoscopic IT band release is a safe and effective treatment for IT Band Syndrome. The procedure is typically done as an outpatient, meaning you can go home the same day. Recovery times vary, but most people can return to their normal activities within a few weeks.

If you are experiencing symptoms of IT Band Syndrome, schedule a consultation with LALL Orthopedics+ to learn more about this procedure and whether it is right for you.

Dr. Ajay C. Lall is a former dual sport NCAA collegiate athlete (football and track & field), American board certified and triple fellowship-trained hip surgeon. Dr. Lall and the team at LALL Orthopedics + specializes in Endoscopic IT Band Release. Schedule a hip consultation today.

LALL Orthopedics + has offices in Paramus, NJ, Philadelphia, PA and Belvidere, IL. Our team regularly sees patients from Bergen County, Hackensack, and Morristown, NJ.

At a Glance

Ajay C. Lall, MD, MS, FAAOS

  • Board Certified – Orthopedic Surgery
  • Triple Fellowship Trained
  • Performs over 750 Surgeries Per Year
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