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What Bones Bear the Weight of the Body?

author image Denise Stern
Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.

The skeleton provides the body with a sturdy framework for the attachment of muscles as well as for protection of internal organs. However, not all bones in the human body are considered weight bearing, or those that must be present and in working order to enable the body to stand upright and walk. Understanding what bones in the body bear weight enables individuals to be more aware of their body and how it works.

Foot Bones

The calcaneum (or calcaneus), or the bone found in the heel of the foot, is one of the most important weight-bearing bones in the body, states Dr. Kenneth Backhouse, OBE. Appearing in a ball-like shape, the calcaneus often experiences stress fractures because of high-impact activities, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The tarsal bones, which are thin, long bones found on the top of the foot that can often be seen merely by wriggling the toes, also bear the brunt of weight and impact, states the University of South Wales in Australia.

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 human body when standing upright and walking. The lumbar portion of the spine is composed of five vertebrae, numbered 1 through 5 and bear a great portion of the body's weight, states Dr. Keith Bridwell of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and writing for This portion of the spine connects the upper and lower portions of the body and helps to evenly distribute weight and enhance balance and coordination.


The tibias found in the lower legs below the knees are also weight-bearing bones. According to the Mayo Clinic, the tibia is one of the most important weight-bearing bones of the body and is one of the most often broken. The tibia, also known as the shin bone, connects the knee to the ankle joint.

The tibia is connected to the knee joint, which is considered the largest weight-bearing joint in the body, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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