From 2006 to 2017, there were an estimated 350,379 orbital floor fractures seen in emergency departments around the nation—and the incidence rose significantly during that period, according to new research. A longitudinal study on the incidence, characteristics and economic burden of orbital floor fractures in the United States found the incidence increased by 47%, from 7.7 to 11.3 per 100,000 population.

The majority of those with orbital floor fractures was male, aged 21 to 44 years, and from low-income households. The researchers identified the most common cause as assault, especially in young adults. The second most common cause was fall, which was more prevalent in patients over 65. Orbital floor fractures from falls more than doubled during the study period. Total inflation-adjusted emergency department charges for all visits exceeded $2 billion. The average charge per visit increased 48% over the study period, from $5,881 to $8,728.

“Preventive strategies aimed at individuals at risk of assault as well as older people at risk of falls will be crucial to mitigating the burden of orbital floor fractures on the healthcare system,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

Iftikhar M, Canner JK, Hall L, et al. Characteristics of orbital floor fractures in the United States from 2006 to 2017. Ophthalmology. July 10, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].