This information explains how to perform assisted walking.

What Is Assisted Walking?

Assisted walking is a kind of careful, limited walking. Your doctor may prescribe assisted walking for different reasons, including a fracture (broken bone) or possible fracture of your hip, leg, or foot. It can also be prescribed for thigh or leg surgery. A brace, cast, or splint may be used along with a walking aid, such as crutches, a cane, or a walker.

It is important to follow your doctor's instructions to protect your leg or hip. A physical therapist will teach you how to walk correctly. He/she will also adjust your cane, walker, or crutches to the height that works best for you or will teach you how to make these adjustments.

Types of Assisted Walking

Non-weight-bearing

  • None of your body weight may be put on the affected leg.
  • Your foot must not touch the floor.
  • Crutches or a walker are used to help you walk.

Flat foot touch-down weight-bearing (may also be called toe touch weight bearing)

  • No more than 10 pounds may be put on the affected leg.
  • Your foot should touch the floor to keep you balanced, but do not put any additional weight on the affected leg.
  • Crutches or a walker are used to help you walk.

Partial weight-bearing

  • 10% to 50% of your body weight may be put on the affected leg. Your physician will tell you how much body weight you can put on the affected leg.
  • Crutches or a walker are used to help you walk.

Weight-bearing as tolerated

  • 50% to 100% of your body weight may be put on the affected leg, depending on how comfortable you feel. The amount that you can tolerate may be different from time to time.
  • Crutches (1 or 2) or a cane are used to help you walk.

Full weight-bearing

  • Your entire body weight may be put on the affected leg.
  • Your doctor may also recommend a walking aid, such as a crutch or cane.

Important Notes

  • Avoid twisting motions on the affected leg—this will lessen the chance of further injury.