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Which Bones & Joints Bear the Weight of the Body?

What Is Weight-Bearing?

In orthopedic term, weight-bearing is described as the amount of weight a patient puts on the affected leg on which surgery has been performed. However, in general, weight bearing is the ability of the body part to support the weight of the body.

Which Bones Bear The Weight Of The Body?

Which Bones Bear The Weight Of The Body?

The skeleton of our body provides our body with a well built framework for the attachment of muscles and for the protection of internal organs. However, not all the bones of our body are the weight bearing bones.

Weight bearing bones of the body should be in working condition so as to enable the body to stand upright and walk. By understanding what bones in the body bears body weight enables us to be more aware of the body and how it works.

Below are some bones that bear the weight of the body.

Foot Bones That Bear the Weight of the Body:

The Calcaneum

One of the most important weight bearing bones of the body is the Calcaneum or Calcaneus, or the bone present in the heel of the foot. The Calcaneus or Calcaneum, appears in a ball-like shape and often experiences stress fractures on high-impact activities.

The Tarsal Bone

One more foot bone that bears the body weight is the tarsal bone. These Tarsal bones are thing, long bones present on the top of the foot that can often be seen merely by wriggling the toes, and also bear the brunt of the weight and impact.

Lower Spine:

The lower portion of the spine, or the lumbar region of the vertebrae and the sacrum, support the entire upper structure of the body, while standing upright and also while walking. The lumbar portion of the spines is composed of 5 vertebrae, that are numbered from 1 to 5 and bear a great portion of the body’s weight. This entire portion of the spine connects the upper and the lower part of the body and helps to distribute the body weight evenly and enhance balance and coordination.


The tibias present in the lower legs, below the knees are also weight bearing bones. The tibia is one of the most crucial, bones of the body that bear the weight and is most often broken. The tibia, is also known as the Shin bone, and connects the knee to the ankle joint.

The tibia is connected to the knee joint, which is considered as the largest weight bearing joint of the body.

Which Joints Bear The Weight Of The Body?

The joints are the connections in the body, where your bones come together. We can move our bodies in ways that allow us to do everything from walk to write, to turn the heads, only because of our joints. So, when our joints get damaged or diseased, daily life can become painful and challenging.

Weight-bearing joints are the joints that hold us up when we stand and carry the weight of our body. Ankles, knees and hip joints are the primary weight-bearing joints of the body. Some other joints that bear the weight of our body include, the joints of the feet, pelvis and the lower back and spine(especially the lower back).

One of the most common degenerative joint disease of DJD, is Osteoarthritis or OA; and it is the most common type of joint disease in the World. This can develop because of wear and tear of any joint that bear the weight of the body. The more your body weight, the more stress on your weight-bearing joint and more likely you are to develop osteoarthritis.

Some Of The Weight Bearing Joints Of The Body Include:

Hip Joints:

The hip is the area found on each side of the pelvis. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that allows motion and provides stability required to bear the weight of the body.
The Acetabulum, or the socket area, is present inside the pelvis. The top of the thigh bone or the Femur is the ball part of this hip joint. The Femur joins with the acetabulum to form the hip joint.

The Hip joint is one of the most stable joints in the body. However, as it bears the weight of the body, it is more likely to develop arthritis due to the extra pressure. Any injury to the muscles, tendons or the bursae or the small fluid-filled sacs, that cushion and lubricate the joints, can result in pain in the hip.

The Ankle Joint:

The knee joint and the ankle joint are weight bearing joints that we rely on for almost every movement throughout the day. So, when pain strikes in these joints, often our regular activities are severely affected.

The ankle joint is a more complex area of the body that is made of several bones and joints. Tibia, Fibula and Talus are the 3 bones of the traditional ankle joint. The Tibia and the Fibula are the 2 shin bones and the Talus is one of the Tarsal bones of the foot. Ankle pain is often due to overstrain of the structures that keep the joint stable. Pain in the ankle can be due to traumatic or overuse injuries.

Knee Joint:

One more important joint that bears the weight of the body is the Knee joint. This joint is actually a combination of two joints, between the Tibia and the Femur, and between the Patella and Femur. Pain in the knee joint, is often in one or both of these joints or in the muscles or tendons found around the joint.

Other Joints That Bear The Weight Of The Body:

Apart from the primary weight bearing joints, i.e. ankles, knees and the hip joints; joints of the feet, the pelvis and the lower back and the spine, are also the joints that bear the weight of the body.


It is essential for us to take care of the weight bearing bones and joints is a more special way. In case of any pain or injury to these bones and joints, do consult your doctor or physiotherapist and get yourself properly diagnosed and treated.


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021). Weight-Bearing Exercise for Bone Health in Children: A Systematic Review of Controlled Trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7239782/
  2. American Council on Exercise. (2021). Weight-Bearing Exercises. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/2774/weight-bearing-exercises/
  3. University of Michigan Medicine. (2021). Weight-bearing Exercise. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2235
  4. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. (2021). Osteoporosis Overview. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/osteoporosis

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 2, 2023

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