The primary complication of CTS is permanent damage to the median nerve. In some cases, severe or prolonged compression can permanently damage the nerve and, despite adequate treatment, people may experience permanent numbness, tingling, incoordination, and weakness. In such cases, the primary role of surgery is to prevent further nerve damage. Incomplete recovery following adequate treatment may be more likely in patients with more long-standing symptoms, muscle weakness, shrinkage of the thumb muscles, co-existing conditions that affect nerves such as diabetes, and who are older. Early recognition and treatment of CTS may avoid or minimize permanent nerve damage.