Skinny jeans land fash­ion vic­tim in hos­pi­tal

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Any­one who’s ever had to per­form ac­ro­batic con­tor­tions to squeeze into stylish skinny jeans may want to loosen up. As one woman Down Un­der learned the hard way, pro­longed pe­ri­ods of “ex­ter­nal com­pres­sion” can re­sult in un­in­tended mus­cu­lar and neu­ro­log­i­cal con­se­quences.

The 35-year-old un­named Aus­tralian woman col­lapsed (unglam­orously, Out­liers as­sumes) on the street when her feet went numb. When she ar­rived at the hos­pi­tal: “Her jeans could only be re­moved by cut­ting them off,” said au­thors of a case re­port pub­lished June 23 in the Jour­nal of Neu­rol­ogy, Neu­ro­surgery & Psy­chi­a­try.

The day be­fore, the skinny-jean clad woman had helped a rel­a­tive move, and spent hours squat­ting while emp­ty­ing cup­boards. Later she be­gan to ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­culty walk­ing and swelling of the calves.

“The wear­ing of ‘skinny’ jeans had likely po­ten­ti­ated the tib­ial neu­ropathies by caus­ing a com­part­ment syn­drome as the lower legs swelled,” the au­thors ex­plained.

This isn’t the first time re­searchers have pointed to the po­ten­tial down­sides of the fash­ion trend. A 2012 sur­vey of 2,000 Bri­tish men by TENA Men—a com­pany that makes in­con­ti­nence prod­ucts—found that tight jeans could cause uri­nary tract in­fec­tions, a con­di­tion called “twisted tes­ti­cles” and other long-term prob­lems.

Still, skinny jeans claim 76% of the mar­ket, beat­ing out looser pants, such as boyfriend, straight-leg and “mom” jeans, ac­cord­ing to a 2015 re­port from

re­tail tech­nol­ogy com­pany EDITD. For­tu­nately for the Aussie woman, with a few flu­ids she was out of the hos­pi­tal in four days. But the moral of the story—as noted by both so­cial media posts about the case study and the clin­i­cians who treated the pa­tient—is not to purge your closet of your fa­vorite pants. Just dress ap­pro­pri­ately, they say. “If she’d been wear­ing loose, flow­ing trousers, the mus­cles could have swelled out­ward,” Thomas Kim­ber, a neu­rol­o­gist at Royal Ade­laide Hos­pi­tal who treated the woman, told the Busi­ness In­sider. But in skinny jeans, her swollen mus­cles “had nowhere to go, ex­cept down onto the nerves and the blood ves­sels.”

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