Understanding Weight Bearing Restrictions After Leg or Foot Injury

Sep 13, 2023
A leg or foot injury can be a painful event, but the proper care can help you fully heal in time.

Understanding Weight Bearing Restrictions After Leg or Foot Injury

A leg or foot injury can be a painful event, but the proper care can help you fully heal in time. Most people that need a lower-body surgery are placed on leg injury weight restrictions or foot injury weight restrictions in order to let their affected parts heal properly. Different injuries and procedures need different post-surgery care methods, and can handle different amounts of weight. Here is a look at weight bearing restrictions and why they are important. 

What are Weight Bearing Restrictions?

Leg injury weight restrictions and foot injury weight restrictions are limits on the amount of weight that your leg or foot can handle after a surgery. By limiting the amount of weight you carry on that body part, the less likely you are to experience problems down the line. There are several classes of weight bearing restrictions that you should be aware of. 

No Weight

The “no weight” restriction is the most severe restriction and also the most important. If your doctor tells you that your leg cannot bear any weight, that means that you cannot put any weight on it at all for any reason. This is reserved for the most severe surgeries that need precise care in healing from a leg injury. 

If you have a no weight restriction, you will need mobility assistance. A walker or various other types of mobility aids can help you keep the pressure off of your leg. It is very important that you follow the restriction to the letter since it can lead to serious and painful problems in the future if you don’t. 


A slightly less severe restriction is the toe-touch restriction. You can let your toes touch the ground, but you still cannot put any weight on that leg. This means that your leg can handle a little bit of pressure, just enough for you to be able to balance or give your leg a little relief from time to time. You will still need a mobility device like a walker to get around since your leg cannot handle your body weight. 

Partial Weight

The partial weight restriction means that your leg can support a fraction of your weight, but not all of it. The amount of weight that your leg can support depends on your injury. However, you should try to put as little pressure on it as needed. You won’t be able to walk on your leg yet for most of the time, but you may be able to walk normally for some time with a cane or crutches. While still difficult to move with, this weight restriction lets you be more active and slowly ease back into using your leg on a regular basis. 

Full-Weight Bearing (No Restrictions)

Not all leg injuries and surgeries require weight bearing restrictions. You may be able to put your full weight down on your leg, which can make it much easier for you to move around. However, it is important to keep your walking devices available just in case you need them. While your leg can support the weight, it may need frequent breaks or assistance since it is still healing. 

Physical Therapy Can Help

If you have a leg injury or surgery, then you will likely need physical therapy to make a full recovery. Having skilled physical therapists on your team makes it easier to strengthen your leg properly to get back to full functionality. Call Manhattan Physical Therapy at (212) 213-3480 to schedule an appointment so that we can help you recover.