23 Jun 2015

'Fashion victim' collapses in Adelaide

7:39 pm on 23 June 2015

Doctors in Australia have identified a health risk for people who wear skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans

Photo: 123RF

The warning follows the case of a woman in Adelaide who collapsed and was temporarily paralysed after spending a long time wearing a pair of the tight trousers.

She was forced to crawl from a park at night to seek help after collapsing.

A consultant neurologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Associate Professor Thomas Kimber, said the 35-year-old noticed her legs become weak then fell and could not get up again.

He acknowledged the woman had spent her day helping relatives move house, requiring a lot of squatting, but labelled her a "fashion victim".

"When she got up that morning she decided to wear skinny jeans. She noticed they were somewhat tight, but I guess skinny jeans tend to be," he said.

"She spent all that day really squatting down to help her relatives clean out cupboards.

"She noticed that her legs were becoming increasingly uncomfortable as the day went on [but] didn't really think much of it."

The woman's ordeal lasted for "some time" and she had to hail a cab to take her to hospital.

"When she went for a walk she noticed she was tripping; her feet became increasingly weak to the point where she fell in a park," Dr Kimber said.

"By this time it was dark and quite late at night and she was unable to stand up again, and really was there for some time before she could crawl to the side of the road, hail a cab and bring herself to the Royal Adelaide Hospital."

Jeans cut from victim due to swelling

Medical staff had to cut the woman's tight jeans from her legs to be able to treat her.

"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.

"As a result of this prolonged squatting, she had really cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles, they had become massively swollen.

"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."

The woman recovered after a stay in hospital lasting several days.

"She had quite severe ankle and foot weakness for several days and she'd suffered quite significant calf muscle injury," Dr Kimber said.

"As a result of that, some proteins are released into her blood stream - she needed to be on an intravenous drip to flush those proteins through, so that she wouldn't develop any damage to her kidneys.

"Fortunately, by day four, she was able to be discharged. She still had some residual ankle and foot weakness but I understand that subsequently she has made a full recovery."