"Rhabdomyolysis and bilateral peroneal and tibial neuropathies" are as uncomfortable as they sound, and they can be caused by wearing skinny jeans for the wrong jobs, doctors say. According to a case study in the journal Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, an Australian woman who wore skinny jeans while helping a family member move—a job that involved hours squatting on the floor emptying cupboards—ended up hospitalized and unable to walk for four days, NPR reports. The 35-year-old had apparently ignored increasing discomfort but ultimately "noticed bilateral foot drop and foot numbness" that led her to trip and fall while walking home, per the study. She was stranded for hours until someone found her and called an ambulance.
A press release explains her calves were swollen to such a degree that her jeans had to be cut off; she didn't have normal movement in her ankles and toes, and the feeling was gone from her lower legs and feet. Doctors discovered she had muscle and nerve damage, apparently caused by reduced blood supply to the leg muscles. Dr. Thomas Kimber of the Royal Adelaide Hospital tells the AP that the long periods of squatting in the tight jeans caused a surprisingly severe amount of damage of a kind that hasn't been linked to skinny jeans before, although the woman was able to walk after four days and later made a full recovery. He says part of the problem with the jeans could be their "non-stretchy nature," which leads to nerves and muscles being squeezed. (The jeans can cause another problem.)