So, after a year of IT band issues, and trying EVERYTHING, including cortisone, every stretch imaginable, foam rolling, yoga, over a month of not riding multiple times, I am still unable to ride more than about 35-40 miles at a time until the sharp pain sets in. Even riding very easy for 40 miles will bring this on. Hard rides can cause the onset at 15 miles.
I've had X-rays (nothing), haven't yet had an MRI.
I'd welcome any suggestions, and especially any feedback from anyone who's actually had the surgery.