|Origin||Iliac crest (lateral aspect)|
Gluteus maximus & tensor fasciae latae muscle’s aponeuroses
|Insertion||Iliotibial tubercle (also known as Gerdy’s tubercle)|
|Action||Stabilisation of the hip and knee|
Supports the actions of the gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae
|Nerve||Superior gluteal nerve L4-S1|
Inferior gluteal nerve L5-S2
|Artery||Ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery|
Superior gluteal artery
Location & Overview
The iliotibial tract is also referred to as the iliotibial band (ITB for short) and is also sometimes called Maissiat’s band. Maissiat’s band is named after the person who discovered it, Jacques Maissiat, who was a French anatomist .
The iliotibial tract is located in the lateral thigh region and spans from the ilium to the proximal tibia. The iliotibial tract is a thick band of deep fascia. The fascia lata, gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae muscles all contribute to the formation of the iliotibial tract. The gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae connect to the iliotibial tract via an aponeurosis. The fascia lata is a fascial sheath which envelops the thigh like a sleeve and its fibres contribute to the iliotibial tract. The iliotibial tract is a type of connective tissue that lacks contractile properties, meaning it cannot cause any direct muscle contractions. Instead, it serves to support and aid other muscles in carrying out their actions  .
Origin & Insertion
The iliotibial tract originates on the ilium’s lateral aspect. Aponeuroses from the gluteus maximus and the tensor fasciae latae (TFL) also connect to the proximal iliotibial tract. These aponeuroses serve as further origin points for the iliotibial tract. The iliotibial tract then continues down the lateral thigh, crossing the knee joint. It then inserts onto the iliotibial tubercle, which is located on the tibia. The iliotibial tubercle is sometimes referred to as ‘Gerdy’s tubercle’ .
The primary action of the iliotibial tract is stabilisation of the hip and knee. However, it also works together with gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae (TFL) due to the aponeuroses which connects these muscles to the iliotibial tract. The iliotibial tract can assist in the actions of both the gluteus maximus and the tensor fasciae latae because it connects to them .
The gluteus maximus primarily extends the hip and contributes to hip abduction. Contraction of the TFL can maintain tension on the iliotibial tract providing stability. The TFL’s contraction can also pull the hip inferiorly (hip abduction), causing the hip on the opposite side to rise. This hip movement assists in walking by allowing the leg to swing without hitting the ground   .
The iliotibial band shares the same innervation as the gluteus maximus and the TFL. These innervations are the superior gluteal nerve (SGN, L4-S1) and inferior gluteal nerve (IGN, L5-S2) .
Blood is supplied to the iliotibial tract via the ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery and the superior gluteal artery .
Want some flashcards to help you remember this information? Then click the link below:
Iliotibial Tract Flashcards
|↑1, ↑2||Flato R, Passanante GJ, Skalski MR, Patel DB, White EA, Matcuk GR Jr. The iliotibial tract: imaging, anatomy, injuries, and other pathology. Skeletal Radiol. 2017 May;46(5):605-622. doi: 10.1007/s00256-017-2604-y. Epub 2017 Feb 25. PMID: 28238018.|
|↑3, ↑4, ↑5, ↑6, ↑9, ↑10||Hyland S, Graefe SB, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Iliotibial Band (Tract) [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537097/|
|↑7||Trammell AP, Nahian A, Pilson H. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Tensor Fasciae Latae Muscle. [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499870/|
|↑8||Elzanie A, Borger J. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle. [Updated 2022 Mar 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538193/|