A 35-year-old Australian woman was recently been admitted to a hospital because the skinny jeans she wore damaged the nerves in her legs.
The woman had been helping a family member move, and, according to a report of her case in the medical journal Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, her particular task involved a great deal of squatting and standing to empty cupboards.
The skinny jeans made the woman’s legs uncomfortable over the course of the day, but she chalked her discomfort up to the aches and pains of moving, and kept on helping.
Then, when she tried to walk home, her feet went numb, and she collapsed on the sidewalk, where she lay for several hours.
Doctors at the Royal Adelaide ran a series of tests, and were initially puzzled when they discovered that the woman’s feet, ankles, and toes had “almost no muscle strength,” but her legs above the knees appeared to be normal. A CT scan of her legs showed muscle damage in the woman’s calves–doctors had to cut off her skinny jeans upon admission–and tests of her tibial and peroneal nerves, which govern the legs’ movement below the knee, came up negative, meaning the nerves weren’t working properly.
Thus, the doctors concluded that “the wearing of skinny jeans had likely potentiated the tibial neuropathies by causing a compartment syndrome as the lower leg swelled.”
While compartment syndrome can lead to permanent damage, this Australian woman was able to walk home under her own power after four days of hospitalization and intravenous fluids.