Style Can Be Dangerous: Don’t Get Nerve Damage from Skinny Jeans

A 35-year-old woman collapsed on her walk home through a park after having great difficulty lifting her feet. She was able to drag herself to a more heavily populated area and catch a cab to the hospital, where doctors treated her for four days before her release. The culprit was “compartment syndrome,” in which pressure builds up in an enclosed part of the body and causes damage to muscle tissue and nerves, as a result of helping a friend move the previous day while wearing a pair of dangerously fashionable skinny jeans.

Without medical treatment she may have ended up with permanent nerve damage affecting her ability to walk, and the muscle damage could have led to kidney damage but fortunately she was treated in time,

said Thomas Kimber, who authored a study on the woman’s case in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry on Monday.

Helping her friend move entailed several hours of squatting and bending while emptying cupboards, during which time the woman noticed her jeans beginning to feel tighter and more uncomfortable. By the time she arrived at the hospital the woman had lost all sensation in her legs, which had swelled to such a degree that doctors had to cut her pants off. Four days after arriving at the hospital, the woman was able once again able to walk on her own. Skin-tight jeans have previously been reported to cause meralgia paresthetica, a condition which causes numbing or burning sensations along the thigh. Tight pants are also known to cause heartburn, abdominal pain, or testicular problems in men.

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