Ankle Sprains

Knoxville’s Choice for Ankle Sprain Treatment in Tennessee

Our Specialty

What is a Sprained Ankle?

Ankle sprains are regular injuries that happen to people of all ages and levels of activity. In fact, ankle sprains are the number one reason why people take a break from playing sports.

A sprained ankle happens when the strong muscles that hold the ankle together stretch too far and tear. The severity of a sprain can be very different based on how many ligaments are affected and how badly they are torn.

Ankle Sprain Symptoms

Depending on how bad the injury is, a sprained ankle can cause a wide range of different types and levels of pain. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain at rest and when moving or when putting weight on it
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Sensitive to the touch
  • An unstable ankle or the feeling that your ankle is going to give out

A serious sprain feels like a broken bone and needs to be checked out by a doctor immediately to ensure it can be treated correctly if it involves a fracture.

What Causes a Sprained Ankle?

Patients often say that they hurt their foot or ankle by twisting it. You may also hear or feel a pop if the muscles are torn significantly. Sprains can happen by surprise when doing many different things, such as:

  • Walking or working out on a surface that isn’t even
  • Tripping or falling down
  • Taking part in sports like trail running, basketball, tennis, football, and soccer that require you to cut, pivot, or jump

Ankle Sprain Treatment

Almost all minor ankle sprains that are only in one spot can be fixed without surgery. Even a full ligament tear, if it is restrained and treated properly, will heal without surgery.

Nonsurgical treatments for ankle sprains include but are not limited to:

  • RICE therapy – Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
  • Medications – Pain and stiffness can be relieved with medications like ibuprofen. They are better for mild sprains because they help the body work better by reducing swelling and pain
  • Physical therapy Rehab exercises are used to improve balance, flexibility, and strength. To prevent stiffness, build muscle, improve balance, and increase endurance, your physical therapist will give you range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises, and agility drills

If your sprain is severe enough, it may require ankle surgery to heal. Surgical treatment may include:

  • Ankle arthroscopy Your doctor examines your ankle joint with a small camera. Miniature tools remove loose bone, cartilage, or ligament fragments from the joint
  • Ankle repair or reconstruction – Your doctor may sew or suture the ligament, or they may replace the injured ligament with a tissue graft from other foot and ankle ligaments and tendons
ankle sprain care

Ankle Sprain Care in Eastern Tennessee

Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance has numerous locations in and around Knoxville where they offer expert orthopedic ankle care.

If you have a sprained ankle and are having trouble, come to TOA and make an appointment with an orthopedic ankle expert. We can help you “get back on your feet” and back to the physical activities you enjoy.

Our Foot And Ankle Surgeons

Recent Articles

What is causing my heel pain?

Hi, I'm Dr. Michael Tompkins. I'm an orthopedic surgeon at TOC and I'm foot and ankle trained. So I have a lot of patients that come to my clinic with a lot of heel pain. Sometimes it's hard to...

read more