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Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms of ITBFS include:

  • Dull aching or burning sensation on the outside of the knee during activity
  • Sharp stabbing pain on the outside of the knee during activity

The pain may be localized. It generally radiates around the outside of the knee and/or up the outside of the thigh. Pain typically starts as minor discomfort. It can then worsen progressively. Snapping, creaking, or popping may be present when the knee is bent and then straightened. There is usually no swelling.


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis is based on these factors:

  • Pain around the lateral femoral epicondyle
  • Tenderness when pressure is applied to this area
  • Pain occurs when going from a straight leg to a bent knee

Tests may include:

  • Ober's test—determines the tightness of the ITB
  • Renne's test—specifies the area of pain while full weight is placed on the leg
  • Noble's test—determines the area of pain while the leg is flexed at a certain angle

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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