Serious health risks of skinny jeans revealed
A MUST-have fashion trend designed to make legs look great has left a woman unable to walk, in an Adelaide medical emergency caused by skintight jeans.
The woman was left paralysed in an Adelaide park at night for several hours in the case, documented today in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry under the heading “Fashion Victim’’.
The 35-year-old woman’s “skinny jeans” were blamed for her collapse, after she eventually managed to drag herself to a road and flag down a taxi, which rushed her to the Royal Adelaide Hospital — where the vice-like denim had to be cut off her swollen calves.
Squatting in the skinny jeans for a protracted time had damaged muscles and nerve fibres in her legs.
The paper’s authors, Associate Professor Thomas Kimber, Dr Karmen Wai and Professor Philip Thompson of the RAH, said the woman who arrived with severe weakness in both ankles and legs after her horror night.
Assoc Prof Kimber said the woman’s lower legs were massively swollen and she risked permanent nerve and muscle damage if she had not received treatment.
The previous day, the woman had spent hours squatting while emptying cupboards helping a relative move house.
While walking home that evening through a park, numbness in her feet made it difficult to walk, causing her to trip and fall. Unable to get up, she spent several hours lying helpless on the ground.
The jeans had caused compartment syndrome — reduced blood supply to the leg muscles — causing swelling of the muscles and compression of adjacent nerves.
She was put on an intravenous drip and spent four days in hospital, including two days unable to walk, but recovered to a point she walked unaided when discharged.
“My message is for people to avoid squatting for long periods while wearing skinny jeans. If you have to squat, wear loose-fitting clothing. If you do find yourself having to squat in skinny jeans and start feeling a tingling sensation in your legs, have a break and walk,” Assoc Prof Kimber said.
University of Adelaide health science student Mikaela Harris, 18, of Pasadena, said she wore skinny jeans because they were fashionable, but urged common sense.
“If I can’t fit in to the jeans first time, I will walk out,” she said.
Her friends, Flinders University criminology student Kate Thompson, 18, of Hawthorn, and Adelaide University psychology student Anastasia Charova, 18, of Warradale, also love the skinny-jeans look.
Asked if she was concerned they were a risk, Ms Thompson said wearers should “pay attention to their body”. — WITH ANNA VLACH email@example.com
If I can’t fit into the jeans first time, I will walk out. MIKAELA HARRIS