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J Orthop Res. 2009 Mar;27(3):335-9. doi: 10.1002/jor.20756.

Iliotibial band tension reduces patellar lateral stability.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Malaya Medical Centre, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


This study investigated the effect of loading the iliotibial band (ITB) on the stability of the patellofemoral joint. We measured the restraining force required to displace the patella 10 mm medially and laterally (defined as medial and lateral stability, respectively) in 14 fresh-frozen knees from 0 to 90 degrees knee flexion. The testing rig allowed the patella to rotate and translate freely during this displacement. The quadriceps was separated into five components and loaded with 175 N total tension. Testing was performed at 0 to 90 N ITB tension. With no ITB tension, the lateral restraining force ranged from 82 to 101 N across 0 to 90 degrees flexion. Increasing ITB tension caused progressive reduction of the lateral restraining force. The maximum reduction was 25% at 60 degrees flexion and 90 N ITB tension. Medial restraining force increased progressively with increasing knee flexion and increasing ITB loads; it ranged from 74 N at 0 degrees knee flexion and 0 N ITB tension to 211 N at 90 degrees knee flexion and 90 N ITB tension. The maximum effect was an increase of medial restraining force of 50% at 90 degrees flexion and 90 N ITB tension.

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