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Australian doctor warns of skinny jeans health risk

A woman in Adelaide, Australia spent four days in the hospital after losing feeling in her legs, a condition caused by squatting in skinny jeans, according to her neurologist.

A doctor is Australia is warning wearers of skinny jeans to avoid squatting after a woman in Adelaide lost feeling in her legs, leaving her temporarily unable to walk, according to a report published Tuesday in the "Sydney Morning Herald."

While helping a relative move house, the 35-year-old patient spent a whole day squatting while cleaning out cupboards and packing boxes. Neurologist Dr. Thomas Kimber said she felt her legs and feet grow numb as she was walking home through a park.

She fell over, and was stranded for several hours until she managed to pull herself to the edge of the road and catch the attention of a taxi, which took her to Royal Adelaide Hospital. Her muscles had swollen far beyond their normal size, and her jeans had to be cut off at the hospital.

"She developed compartment syndrome," explained Kimber. "It cut off blood supply to her calf muscles, and in response to that, the muscles had swelled so much that they pressed on two of the major nerves in her lower leg, and caused this weakness and numbness in her feet."

Full recovery

The doctor added that she was so unwell, she "needed to go on an IV drip" to flush out any potentially dangerous proteins that may have been released, and had to stay in the hospital for four days. She walked out of the building on her own after having made a full recovery.

Kimber said that though he knew of several cases where tight jeans had been reported to cause nerve lesions in the groin, he had never before heard of skinny jeans causing the kind of nerve damage and muscle compression he saw in this patient.

He cautioned anyone wearing skinny jeans against squatting in them, as squatting reduces blood supply to calf muscles, and tight jeans may worsen the problem.

"I think it's the non-stretchy nature of the jeans that might be the problem," said Kimber, who said he does not wear skinny jeans because "I'm too old to get away with them!"

es/cmk (AP, dpa)