Woman, 24, considering paying £9k to have her leg amputated because rare syndrome leaves her in unbearable pain

Paige Howitt, from Birmingham, has complex regional pain syndrome which leaves her in excruciating pain in her left knee.

She has been suffering from the condition since her nerves were shattered seven years ago during a routine kneecap alignment operation that went wrong when she was 17.

And she has been left in so much pain that she is even considering having a private limb amputation which would see her have a prosthetic leg instead, costing £9,000.

Another option would be to pay out £20,000 for a hyperbaric oxygen chamber which will help ease her condition.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, she said: “It’s just the constant battle.

“Mentally now I’m much better. It’s just the pain is getting worse and I've thought about having an amputation.

“It will cost £9,000 to go private because the NHS doesn’t treat my condition. It would be so much easier, I’m nearly at the £9,000 mark and I’ve thought long and hard about it.

“I’d lose two joints though, my foot and my knee. The only thing that is stopping me is my partner Tom and I’d need a lot of time off work for rehab to get used to a prosthetic.

“It is a massive gamble I’d be taking but people around me don’t know the pain I’m in.

“To describe it, it’s like my knee is constantly burning to the point as if you’re on fire. You’ve just got to ride it out, the pain."

Paige has been fundraising in the hopes of being able to pay for an oxygen chamber, which would help her live with the pain of the condition.

LIVING IN AGONY: How complex regional pain syndrome can leave sufferers in debilitating pain

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a poorly understood condition in which a person experiences persistent pain.

Although most cases of CRPS are triggered by an injury, the resulting pain is much more severe and long-lasting than normal.

The pain is usually confined to one limb, but it can sometimes spread to other parts of the body.

The skin of the affected body part can become so sensitive that just a slight touch, bump or even a change in temperature can provoke intense pain.

Affected areas can also become swollen, stiff or undergo fluctuating changes in colour or temperature.

Many cases of CRPS gradually improve to some degree over time. However, some cases of CRPS never go away, and the affected person will experience pain for many years.

The cause of CRPS is unknown, but it's generally thought to be the result of the body reacting abnormally to an injury.

It used to be thought that CRPS was a psychosomatic condition – the symptoms were "all in the mind" – but research has disproved this.

It's difficult to estimate exactly how common CRPS is, as many cases may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. A study claimed that up to 1 in 3,800 people in the UK develop CRPS each year.

CRPS can begin at any age, including in children, although the average age for symptoms to start is around 50. Women make up around 3 out of 4 cases.

Source: NHS

Her JustGiving page reads: "[It] has changed so much of my life and has took away my dreams.

"I suffer from depression and anxiety due to it, every day I want to give up knowing I'm out of options.

"There isn't a cure but I need some sort of hope and relief, having a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber can give me that."

To donate to Paige's JustGiving page, visit here


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