Iliotibial (IT) band tightness is a common problem for athletes and individuals who partake in running and sports that involve the hip joint. When the IT band is tight, irritation and snapping within the area can occur. This snapping is caused by the tight IT band rubbing over the bony prominence on the outside of the hip known as the greater trochanter. Patients who have ITB snapping syndrome, or a tight IT band, will experience pain on the outside of their hip. This condition will continue to get worse if it is not addressed with rest, stretching, or therapy and can lead to bursitis or other more serious conditions.
Dr. Padalecki will usually focus treatment efforts using a non-operative approach of physical therapy, strengthening exercises, rest, and ice. Local injections can be used to calm the inflammatory process in the area. Patients that do not respond to non-operative measures or have reoccurring cases of trochanteric bursitis and IT band irritation may be candidates for arthroscopic hip surgery.
In many cases where both bursitis and IT band tightness occurs, Dr. Padalecki will correct the issues with a surgical procedure. A Fasciotomy is an Iliotibial band release technique in which a small release in the fascia is performed over the area of maximum tightness. This is done using small instruments and a camera to cut a diamond shape out of the IT band in the area of the greater trochanter. A trochanteric bursectomy is then performed which, essentially removes the inflamed bursa sac and irritated tissue.
Because this joint technique is typically performed arthroscopically, which is a minimally invasive approach, Dr. Padalecki usually performs this surgery as an out-patient procedure. Following surgery, he will prescribe a rehabilitation protocol for patients to follow along with a therapist. Rehabilitation following surgery focuses on strengthening of core musculature and hip stabilizers in addition to continued IT band stretching. Patients can be weight-bearing immediately after this surgical procedure.
For additional resources on the recommended treatments for IT band tightness, or other iliotibial band injuries, including arthroscopic hip surgery using a trochanteric bursectomy or an iliotibial band release, please contact the Austin, Texas office of orthopedic hip surgeon, Dr. Jeff Padalecki.