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“I am aware that mine is a success story and that not all cases end like mine, but I believe that it is due to the quick diagnosis and treatment, and most of all, to the highly skilled professionals and the most advanced surgical techniques, together with the commitment of all the staff at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg.”

Nejc Konjedic, 39 years old, Slovenia

Diagnosis: spontaneous intracranial hypotension, CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leak.

It was the end of August 2020 when Nejc Konjedic suddenly felt stiffness in his neck and shoulders and unexplained headaches. The headaches disappeared at night and when he lay down, but became unbearable when he stood up. He went to the local emergency room in his small town in western Slovenia, but no analgesic worked and none of the tests performed could explain the headache. A young neurologist suggested the diagnosis of intracranial hypotension. It was a relief to have a possible diagnosis, but there was no structure in that hospital, or possibly any hospital in Slovenia, to even confirm such a diagnosis, let alone treat the cause. While in the hospital bed, Nejc researched CSF leak and spontaneous intracranial hypotension and found an online CSF community (Spinal CSF Leak Foundation). He connected with some patients and learned that there is a neurosurgical department at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg that specializes in treating CSF leaks.

Nejc spent two weeks at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg and here is what he says about his experience:

"Within a week of submitting the description of my symptoms and MR imaging, I was invited to arrange a stay at the hospital in Freiburg. Once I was admitted to the hospital, things started to move even faster. Every day, different diagnostic procedures were scheduled and the results were used to decide what to do next. On the third day of tests, the leak was found and the diagnosis confirmed. The doctors explained all the options to me and answered all my questions patiently and in detail. The surgery was scheduled for two days later. It was successful and less than a week later I was discharged from the hospital, able to stand without pain. Over the next few months, the occasional headaches became less severe and gradually disappeared. It took some time to get back into shape after being bedridden for a month and a half, and since then I have been able to perform all activities as before, including work and sports. I am aware that mine is a success story and that not all cases end like mine, but I believe that it is due to the rapid diagnosis and treatment, and above all to the highly qualified professionals and the most advanced surgical techniques, together with the commitment of all the staff at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg".