Public Release:  Squatting in 'skinny' jeans can damage nerve and muscle fibers in legs and feet

Tight jeans seem to worsen compression exerted by squatting

BMJ

Squatting in 'skinny' jeans for a protracted period of time can damage muscle and nerve fibres in the legs, making it difficult to walk, reveals a case study published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Doctors describe a case of a 35 year old woman who arrived at hospital with severe weakness in both her ankles. The previous day she had been helping a relative move house, and had spent many hours squatting while emptying cupboards.

She had been wearing tight 'skinny' jeans and recalled that these had felt increasingly tight and uncomfortable as the day wore on.

Later that evening, she experienced numbness in her feet and found it difficult to walk, which caused her to trip and fall. Unable to get up, she spent several hours lying on the ground before she was found.

Her calves were so swollen that her jeans had to be cut off her. She couldn't move her ankles or toes properly and had lost feeling in her lower legs and feet.

Investigations revealed that she had damaged muscle and nerve fibres in her lower legs as a result of prolonged compression while squatting, which her tight jeans had made worse, the doctors suggest.

The jeans had prompted the development of compartment syndrome--reduced blood supply to the leg muscles, causing swelling of the muscles and compression of the adjacent nerves.

She was put on an intravenous drip and after 4 days she could walk unaided again, and was discharged from hospital.

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