What is the outcome (prognosis)?
Most people with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) get better. CRPS is very variable both in how severe the symptoms are and how long the symptoms last. CRPS may be mild and get better by itself or with treatment. In some people, CRPS can cause severe symptoms and last for many years. There is no way of knowing whether your CRPS will be the type to get better or when. Even if you have CRPS for several years, the rest of your body will continue to work as normal.
Some people with CRPS have times when the symptoms are bad (exacerbations) and other periods of time when the symptoms are much fewer or even disappear (remissions). The periods of exacerbation may last for weeks, months or years.
If it is not diagnosed and treated, CRPS can spread and affect other limbs. This makes CRPS much harder to treat.