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Obituary - Dr José Casamitjana

Dear Colleagues,

On May 5th we have lost a faithfully member of the Society and a good friend, José Casamitjana after he suffered from the consequences of a biking accident.


He graduated in 1974 from medical school and started his training as orthopaedic surgeon at the Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona between 1974 and 1979. He finished his specialisation in Cervical Spine Pathology within the Department of Traumatology at the same hospital in 1986.  From 1998 until 2013, Dr. Casamitjana has been the Head of Cervical Spine Pathology at the same hospital.


He was an engaged clinician, an expert surgeon, and an excellent teacher.


In 2001 he was awarded with the “Mario Boni Award” for the best research paper presented at the annual meeting of the CSRS-Europe in Turin, Italy. He was very much involved in our Society, but also in our sister societies in the United States and Asia Pacific. Since 2001 he was a member of the Board of the CSRS-Europe. In 2011 he was elected as President of our Society. He organized the cadaveric instructional courses in Barcelona and was very open for any suggestions that could improve the quality of this course. Thanks to the efforts of José these courses have been highly appreciated by the participants.


José was an honest man who took hospitality to the highest level, not only during courses and annual meetings, but also personally. He was very active, and also enjoyed life very much. He always spoke with love about his wife, his children, and especially his grandchildren with whom all our thoughts are now. We have lost a great man and a wonderful friend. He was an outstanding and committed member of our Society.


Program Committee

  • Carlos Villas Tomé, M.D., Pamplona, Spain (Chairman)
  • Ronald Bartels, M.D., Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  • Yohan Robinson, M.D., Uppsala, Sweden
  • Carment Vleggeer-Langkamp, M.D., Leiden, the Netherlands

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Carlos Villas Tomé, M.D., Pamplona, Spain (Chairman)

Born in Huesca (Aragon) in 1952, Carlos obtained his Medical Degree in 1975 from the University of Navarra and became a Specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology in 1979. In 1980, Carlos obtained his PhD also from the University of Navarra and became full Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatology in 1991 (having been Associate Professor from 1983 to 1991).

Carlos has been a Consultant at the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at the University of Navarra Clinic since 1982 and has held the position of head of Department (from 1993 to 2000) and other additional positions such as: Visiting Professor of the University of Atenas and Professor of Orthopaedics and Traumatology at the University of Ngozi (Burundi) since 2011. His clinical practice has been devoted to spinal surgery since 1980 and he has a prolific academic record, having been the Director of 25 Thesis for PhD’s (two of which obtained ‘Extraordinary Award status).

Carlos obtained seven Research Grants, seven Research Awards (four of which were awarded by European Scientific Societies, including twice from the CSRS-ES. He is the Editor of six books and has collaborated in thirty nine others writing a total of sixty six chapters and has published 207 papers in eighty International Journals. Carlos is a member of twenty two Scientific Societies (10 of which are International) and was ‘Editor in Chief’ of the Spanish Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery from 1998 to 2002.

Outside of Orthopaedics Carlos is a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee, a Member of the Royal Spanish Federation of Winter Sports and Professor of the Spanish Ski School.

r bartels

Ronald H.M.A. Bartels, M.D., Ph.D., Nijmegen, Netherlands

Neurosurgical training: Neurosurgical Center Nijmegen
Member of the Staff since 1996
Fields of interest:

Surgery of the Cranio-Cervical Junction
Spinal surgery (minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques, Oncologic surgery, reconstruction of spinal deformities with the exception of scoliosis)
Peripheral nerve surgery (entrapments, nerve tumours)
Other activities:

Board member Dutch Spine Society: 2000 - December 2004
Secretary Dutch Spine Society: January 2005 - present
Officer Cervical Spine Research Society (European Section): May 2005 - present

y robinson

Yohan Robinson, M.D., Uppsala, Sweden

Yohan Robinson was born in Germany in 1977. He graduated from Charité University Hospital Berlin in 2003. Under his studies he stayed one year at the Karolinska institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

For his internship he stayed at the Kantonsspital St. Gallen (Dr. Deszö Jeszensky). He stayed for his orthopaedic and trauma surgery residency in at the Charité Hospital in Berlin. Very early his interest was in spinal surgery and got involved in the treatment of rare cervical pathologies (Prof. Ulrich Weber, Prof. Christoph Heyde). He stayed shorter periods of time with Prof. Jürgen Harms (Karlsbad-Langensteinbach) and Dr. Peter Metz-Stavenhagen (Bad Wildungen). In 2008 Yohan Robinson moved to Uppsala, Sweden to focus on spinal surgery alone (Prof. Claes Olerud). Since then he is a dedicated spinal surgeon treating most pathologies between cranium and pelvis.

foto carmen

Carmen Vleggeert-Lankamp, MD, MSc, PhD, Leiden, the Netherlands

Carmen Vleggeert-Lankamp, MD, MSc, PhD is a Neurosurgeon and Spinal Surgeon in Leiden, the Netherlands. She is the head of the Spine research group: the Spine Intervention Prognostic Study group. She has been a senior member of staff since 2007. She has joined the CSRS-Europe board since 2013.

She was born in the Netherlands in 1969. She received her MSc grade in Pharmacy in 1995 and afterwards graduated from medical school at the University of Utrecht in 1998. She did her residency in Neurosurgery at the Leiden University Medical Centre from 1998-2006. In 2006 she obtained her PhD degree on evaluation of peripheral nerve regeneration. In 2006 she started to specialize in spine surgery and changed her research focus to spine. Currently she coordinates a research group with numerous PhD students that work on research themes varying from cervical to lumbar and from degenerative to congenital spine diseases. She and her research group received several research prices (NASS award 2014, Eurospine award 2014, ISSLS award 2013, Eurospine research grant 2012, Mario Boni Award 2010). She is specialized in spine surgery with special interest for craniocervical deformities and reconstruction, and achondroplasia.

She has a long list of scientific publications and invited guest lectures behind her. She is actively involved in spinal teaching, he has supervised several PhD trajectories and is involved in spine training programs of the European Association of Neurological Surgeons. She is a reviewer for Reviewer for European Radiology, the European Spine Journal and the Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences