Weight bearing

Full Weight Bearing (FWB)

No restriction to weight-bearing including single leg stance if pertaining to the lower limb. 100% of body weight can be transmitted through the designated limb to be "full weight bearing". FWB is somewhat interchangeable with the term 'weight bear as tolerated' (WBAT) which allows the patient to self-limit their weight bearing up to full weight bear as is tolerable to each individual case, reduced weight bearing usually due to pain and or swelling.

Partial Weight Bearing (PWB)

PWB is a broad term and can range from anything greater than non-weight bearing to anything less than full weight bearing. Most of the definitions in literature define partial weight bearing as from 30% to 50% of body weight. PWB may be recommended during fracture rehabilitation, following osteotomies and orthopaedic procedures[1] and is usually accompanied by a percentage figure to further describe the extent of weight bearing recommended. For example, PWB <50%.

Touch Weight Bearing (TWB)

TWB is poorly defined in the available literature. Hershko et al. defines it as up to 20% of body weight however others define TWB as a numerical value up to around 20kg.[2] Sometimes the clinician will recommend a percentage to define the limits of weight bearing For example, TWB 10% only.

Non Weight Bearing (NWB)

NWB status means the patient will not be able to put any weight through the limb and therefore will require crutches or other assistive devices to mobilise.


  1. Rubin G, Monder O, Zohar R, Oster A, Konra O, Rozen N. Toe-Touch Weight Bearing: Myth or Reality?. ORTHOPEDICS. 2010; 33
  2. Hershko E, Tauber C, Carmeli E. Biofeedback versus physiotherapy in patients with partial weight-bearing. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ) 2008;37(5):E92–E96.