Are Your Skinny Jeans Causing a Health Risk?

  • Topic Info:Recently, an Australian woman was taken to the hospital after she was helping a family member move while wearing skinny jeans. The woman had spent hours squatting down, emptying cupboards.

    This may have caused many of you to wonder if your skinny jeans are safe.

    Don't go swearing off skinny jeans just yet.

    What happened to this woman was a classic case of Compartment Syndrome. The woman's jeans were so tight that they squeezed on the peripheral nerves and cut off circulation. The blood had nowhere to go and the muscle started to swell.

    Typically, doctors see compartment syndrome between the knee and the ankle, as well as in the forearm area. In the ER, doctors will cut the patient's clothing off to get the blood flowing again. Many times doctors will have to surgically open up the area to relieve the pressure. This woman's case was so extreme because the squeezing had been going on almost all day.

    How common is this problem?

    Buck Parker, MD, discusses compartment syndrome and whether or not you should be throwing away your skinny jeans.
  • Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD