Problem with 2003 BMW 325xi Driver's Side Door Handle

I have a problem with the driver's side door handle of my 2003 BMW 325xi.
Here is how the problem started:
- I was unlocking my car from the outside with my automatic key by
pushing the unlock button on my automatic key.
- At the same time that I was unlocking my car with the automatic key, I started to lift the exterior door handle on the driver's side of the car.
- As I lifted the exterior door handle at the same time that the interior lock was rising, something went amiss with the door handle, and I have no longer been able to open the driver's side door from the outside.
Here is how the problem is playing out:
- The driver's side door handle moves up and down (but much easier than before, as if nothing is being engaged by the door handle).
- I cannot open the driver's side door from the outside, not manually or otherwise, even when the door is unlocked.
- From the inside, everything works fine, and I can open the door normally.
Here are some questions:
- Is this an easy fix?
- Is it an expensive fix?
- Is it something that requires the door and window to be removed?
Thanks for any help you can give.

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