Each person will have a different prognosis with RSD, and the factors that affect this are unknown. Some people experience spontaneous remission from symptoms, while others have unremitting pain and irreversible changes despite treatment. Although your healthcare provider is the best person to discuss the prognosis, keep in mind that even he or she cannot predict exactly what to expect.
A prognosis gives an idea of the likely course and outcome of a disease. The prognosis for reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) varies from person to person, and doctors are not sure of the factors that affect a person's RSD prognosis.
Spontaneous remission from symptoms occurs in certain people. Others can have unremitting pain and crippling, irreversible changes in spite of treatments for RSD. Some doctors believe that early treatment is helpful in limiting the effects of the disease, but this belief has not yet been supported by evidence from RSD research or clinical studies.
More research is needed to understand the causes of RSD, how it progresses, and the role of early treatment.
The doctor who is most familiar with a person's situation is in the best position to discuss the RSD prognosis and to explain what RSD statistics may mean for that person. At the same time, it is important to understand that even the doctor cannot tell exactly what to expect.