Proximal iliotibial band syndrome: What is it and where is it?

Irene Sher, Hilary Umans, Sherry A. Downie, Keith Tobin, Ritika Arora, Todd R. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the clinical and MR imaging features of a unique strain at the iliac tubercle enthesis. While this strain appeared to correspond to the iliotibial band (IT band) enthesis, the literature regarding the IT band origin was discrepant. As such, our second goal was to prove that the IT band originated at the iliac tubercle, through cadaveric dissection. Materials and methods: Three musculoskeletal radiologists prospectively reviewed 67 consecutive bony pelvis MRI studies from October 2006 through September 2008 using either 3, 1.5, or 0.3 T units. Seven cases demonstrating strain at the iliac tubercle enthesis were identified and reviewed by consensus. History and patient demographics were reviewed. Cadaveric dissection was performed to delineate the anatomy of the proximal IT band. Results: Seven out of 67 individuals, all women, were identified with strain at the level of the iliac tubercle (prevalence 10%). Four of seven were athletes, three were overweight. Patients presented with pain and tenderness at the iliac tubercle. Anatomic dissection confirmed that iliotibial band originates along the margin of the iliac crest with dominant fibers condensing on the iliac tubercle. Conclusion: Proximal IT band strain represents a unique injury that should be considered in patients who are female athletes or older overweight women who present with pain and tenderness at the iliac tubercle. Imaging of this entity must include the iliac tubercle, which is often excluded in standard hip MRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1553-1556
Number of pages4
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Hip strain
  • Iliac tubercle
  • Iliotibial band
  • Pelvic strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Proximal iliotibial band syndrome: What is it and where is it?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this