An unidentified Australian woman was labeled a “fashion victim” after her skinny jeans caused her to suffer muscle and nerve damage as a result. The case was documented by consulting neurologist Dr. Thomas Kimber and published as an article this week in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
The 35-year-old woman wore a pair of skinny jeans while helping family members move and squatted for long periods of time to clean out cupboards. She “recalled that her jeans had felt increasingly tight and uncomfortable during the day,” the authors of the article wrote.
By evening, the woman experienced numbness in her feet, and walking became difficult for her. She was outside when she tripped and fell, unable to get up for hours. Eventually, she crawled to the side of a road and hailed a taxi to the hospital. The skinny jeans “victim” complained of ankle weakness and swelling in her lower legs.
Dr. Thomas Kimber of the neurology unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital, where the woman was treated, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the prolonged squatting in her skinny jeans had cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles which became “massively swollen.”
“When she arrived she had massive swelling of her calf muscles, they had to actually cut the jeans from her, they weren’t able to remove them any other way,” Dr. Kimber said.
He dubbed the woman a “fashion victim” due to the damage caused by her skinny jeans, which was worsened by the prolonged periods of squatting.
“As a result of this prolonged squatting, she had really cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles, they had become massively swollen, and as a result of that, she had suffered compression to two of the major nerves in her lower leg and had developed this leg weakness as a result. [She suffered a] significant calf muscle injury and, as a result of that, some proteins are released into her blood stream and she needed to be on an intravenous drip to flush those proteins through so that she wouldn’t develop any damage to her kidneys.”
Dr. Kimber wants the takeaway message to be to wear loose, comfortable clothing when doing a lot of squatting and to stand up and walk around if your legs feel uncomfortable or tingly. This will get the blood pumping again.
Dr. Brett Belchetz, an emergency room physician in Toronoto said injuries the woman in Australia suffered from wearing skinny jeans is a rare occurrence.
“The risk is minimal,” Dr. Belchetz said. “This is one case report that was actually a rare enough thing that it made international headlines.”
After four days in the hospital, the “victim” of her skinny jeans has made a full recovery and is walking once again.
[Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images]