Terry and colleagues have investigated the role of the iliotibial tract, iliopatellar band, and iliotibial band as both dynamic and static stabilizers of the lateral side of the knee.  The iliotibial band is anatomically divided into the superficial, deep, and capsuloosseous layers. The superficial layer is the main fascial layer seen over the lateral aspect of the knee. The deep layer consists of fibers that begin at the termination of the lateral intermuscular septum. The deep layer serves to attach the superficial layer of the iliotibial tract to the distal femur and prevent anterolateral subluxation of the tibia on the femur. The capsuloosseous layer functions as the anterolateral ligament of the knee. The short head of the biceps inserts into it along its course through a confluence of aponeurotic tissues. The iliopatellar band connects the posterior aspect of the iliotibial tract and femur to the patella and is an extension off the superficial layer.
1. Terry, G.C., Hughston, J.C., and Norwood, L.A.: The Anatomy of the Iliopatellar Band and Iliotibial Tract. Am J. Sports Med., 14:39, 1986.
2. Terry, G.C., LaPrade R.F.: The posterolateral aspect of the knee. Anatomy and surgical approach. Am J. Sports Med., 24: 732-739, 1996.