Serving Chicagoland
and Surrounding Suburbs

Board Certified in Foot and
Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery

Can An Ankle Injury Cause Knee Pain?

Ankle injuries tend to happen when you least expect them, such as when you head out for a relaxed jog outside and step in an unseen divot, or when you simply step down off of a curb. In any case, the wrong step can twist or sprain your ankle, causing shooting pain to travel up your leg to the knee. While almost always unexpected, knee pain and ankle injuries are all too common, with pain usually  stemming from where the joints, ligaments, and muscles connect.

Common Causes of Ankle Sprains

The most common causes of ankle sprains are

  • Sports injuries
  • Workplace injuries
  • Slipping and falling
  • Stairs and uneven flooring
Caring Black man helps young Black woman with leg injury outdoors on a bike path.

Most of the time, children and teenagers experience ankle injuries from sports and physical activity whereas adults mainly sprain their ankles at home or workplace. More so, older adults have greater risk of sprained ankle knee pain due to their fragility. Inclement weather or other hazardous conditions further impose a safety risk for leg injuries.

Causes and Effects of Sprained Ankle Knee Pain

You may experience chronic or temporary sprained ankle knee pain depending on the severity of the injury. Commonly, the first symptom is sudden pain in the area. In effect, sprained ankles cause knee injuries due to connective tissues and ligaments. Specifically, you risk damaging the plantaris tendon and Achilles tendon. 

These tendons connect the knee to the soleus (calf muscle) and calcaneus (heel). Injuring the plantaris or Achilles tendon can result in an isolated injury, like tendonitis, or part of a greater ACL sprain. Knee pain, discomfort, limited range of motion, and stiff joints are all common symptoms. If your pain persists or worsens, you may require surgical treatment.

When to See a Doctor

If you’ve recently twisted or sprained your ankle and are experiencing any severe symptoms, consult your doctor. After examining the ankle joint, they may recommend you to a podiatrist to determine the severity of your injury. This may involve x-rays to look at any internal breakage, or prescription medicine for pain-relief. In some cases, you may require surgery and physical rehabilitation to repair the damage.


Mitchell Foot & Ankle

1338 E 47th St.
Chicago, IL 60653

Fax: 773-433-8108

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