I'm a little confused about something. Two years ago I fell and broke my hip. I had a hip replacement. The doctor told me I couldn't put my full weight on that leg for six weeks because the implant wasn't cemented in place. My sister just fell and broke her leg and only had to have a cast. She can't put her full weight on it either. Why not?

There's a lot of debate around this topic. We know that a small amount of weight through a broken leg actually helps the bone heal. Too much weight and the fracture healing gets interrupted and delayed.

So depending on the location and type of leg fracture, patients may be told to put a small amount of weight on the foot. It also depends on what kind of fracture brace or cast is applied to the leg.

Hip replacements come in all sizes, shapes, and styles. In someone with good bone density, an uncemented implant is often used. The bone fills in around the implant sealing it in place. Cement is used for older adults with poor bone structure.

Some doctors tell patients not to put their full weight on an uncemented hip replacement. Partial weight bearing is sometimes advised. Too much weight too soon can cause the implant to sink too far into the bone.

Other doctors say full weight-bearing is okay if there are no post-operative problems. More research in this area is underway.