Weight Bearing

What is weight bearing?

Putting weight on your affected (weaker) leg is called “weight bearing.” Your physical therapist will check one of the categories below. Read what is beneath the category.  This is your “weight-bearing status.” It tells if you may or may not put any body weight on your affected leg. It also tells you how much weight you may place on the affected leg.

Non-weight bearing (NWB)

Place no weight on your affected leg. Do not touch the floor with your affected leg. While you stand or walk, you must hold your affected leg off the floor (see Figure 1 at right).

Touch-down weight bearing (TDWB), or toe-touch weight bearing (TTWB)

When you stand or walk, you may touch the floor only for balance. Do not place actual weight on your affected leg (see Figure 2 at left).

Partial weight bearing (PWB)

When you stand or walk, you may place ____ percent of your body weight ( _____ pounds) on your affected leg (see Figure 2 at left).

Weight bearing as tolerated (WBAT), or weight bearing to tolerance (WBTT)

When you stand or walk, place only as much weight as feels comfortable on your affected leg. Let pain be your guide. If you feel pain, place less weight on the affected leg (see Figure 2 at left).

Full weight bearing (FWB)

You may place your full body weight on your affected leg when you stand or walk.

Note: Your therapist may give you other instructions about weight bearing.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com