Skinny jeans ‘enthusiast’ lands in hospital: Doctors are surprised that simply squatting in tight skinny jeans could lead to compartment syndrome – condition in which injury can cause swelling of muscle or nerves.
In the name of fashion a health faux pas has been made. Simply following the trend of the day isn’t worth it, especially if it comes at the risk of your health.
Skinny jeans are all the rage. In fact nobody can remember an era before the skinnies landed among us and gave us the perfect excuse to wear tights in the form of jeans. They have even birthed jeggings (a combination of jeans and leggings) and the tighter the jeans the more the fashionistas prefer to wear them.
But for one Australian woman, there was a high price to pay for being fashion forward. The 35-year-old woman was hospitalized after she collapsed on the street and was unable to get up again, due to her legs feeling numb. She lay there for several hours until help could reach her.
She had been helping a family member move due to which she had been squatting a lot while cleaning out the cupboards. She noted that the jeans had felt tight and increasingly uncomfortable during the day but had not paid much attention.
When doctors at the Royal Adelaide Hospital examined her they found that her ankles and feet were weakened and her calves had swollen due to fluid. The calves also showed dying muscle tissue in a CT scan.
The emergency room staff had to cut off her jeans. She had lost feeling in her lower legs and could not move her ankles or toes properly.
When doctors examined her nerves, they found that the nerve that moves the lower leg and feet was blocked. The area just under the knee, when compressed, can not only squeeze this nerve but it can also cause weakness, pain and numbness by damaging the nerve.
It was a surprise to the doctors that simply squatting in tight skinny jeans could lead to compartment syndrome – a condition in which an injury can cause the swelling of muscle or nerves. A layer of tissue prevents expansion of the nerves or muscle past a certain point and eventually as blood flow cuts off, the nerves and muscle can be injured.
Red flag signals include tingling and numbness in the leg, which are signs of pressure building in the leg. Once the leg starts swelling, the pressure has become too much and the muscles have been inflamed. In severe cases, amputation has to be performed to treat the patient.
Though this woman was very lucky. Although she had damaged muscle and nerve fibers, she was put on an IV and was prescribed bed rest until her legs started working again. She stayed in the hospital for 4 days. After which, she walked out of the hospital.
The doctors termed the condition a new neurological complication of wearing skinny jeans. The case study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.