A woman whose skinny jeans cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles was forced to crawl from an Adelaide park at night to seek help after collapsing.
A consultant neurologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Associate Professor Thomas Kimber, told 891 ABC Adelaide the woman, 35, noticed her legs become weak before she 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," Professor Kimber explained.
"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," the neurologist explained.
"As a result of this prolonged squatting she had really cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles, they had become massively swollen, and 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 and, as a result of that, some proteins are released into her blood stream and she needed to be on an intravenous drip to flush those proteins through so that she wouldn't develop any damage to her kidneys," the specialist said.
"Fortunately by day four she was able to be discharged, and she still had some residual ankle and foot weakness but I understand that subsequently she has made a full recovery."
Professor Kimber said people needed to consider whether their clothing was loose enough to avoid injury.
"The take home message I would like to leave people is if they are going to doing a lot of squatting ... wear something looser, with more elasticity perhaps," he said.
"Certainly if you're squatting in skinny jeans for whatever reason and your legs feel uncomfortable or tingly, you should stand up and walk around to get the blood pumping again."
In documenting the case for the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Professor Kimber and a colleague said the woman had quite literally been a "fashion victim".