Patients with orthopedic injuries or conditions, such as fractures, sprains, strains, joint replacement, or osteoporosis, may require weight bearing restrictions as part of their treatment plan, so they are a population that may benefit from weight bearing restrictions. In medicine, weight bearing is of importance in patients who are on the orthopedic floor.
By weight-bearing, the skeletal system adapts to the impact of muscles and body weight and becomes more stable and stronger. Weight-bearing may be full or partial. Some bone and joint injuries may not allow you to put your body weight on the bone or joint to let the injury heal.
Non-weight bearing means the injured limb should not touch the floor or support any body weight. The patient uses one leg, and crutches are essential.
This is also called Touch-Down Weight Bearing (TDWB). This means only 10% on the affected and 90% on the unaffected limb or joint. When standing or walking, only touch the floor for balance. Do not place any body weight on the affected leg. Imagine you have an egg under your foot that you are not to crush.
Partial Weight Bearing (PWB) is a restriction in which a person is allowed to bear only a portion of their body weight on a particular limb or body part while minimizing stress or pressure. The specific amount of weight that can be placed on the affected area during partial weight bearing varies depending on the individual case and the healthcare provider's recommendations. Often it is less than 50% of the patient's weight. The weight gradually increases so that the patient can ambulate but still needs the use of an ambulatory device like a cane or crutches.
In Weight Bearing as Tolerated (WBAT), a patient can bear weight on a specific limb or body part as long as they can handle it without excessive pain or discomfort. The patient's comfort and ability to tolerate the load guide the amount of weight-bearing allowed. This approach supports a personalized rehabilitation process, enabling gradual increases in weight-bearing activities based on the patient's healing progress. Close monitoring and adjustments by healthcare professionals ensure a safe and optimal recovery.
Full Weight Bearing (FWB) means no restriction to weight bearing. The patient may place the full body weight on the affected leg or arm and can ambulate.
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