POTSDAM - Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world, and when diagnostic studies and surgical treatment are required because of injuries, several racers have turned to the specialists at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
Steward Baylor, the 2012 American Motorcycle Association (AMA) National Enduro Champion and 2012 Grand National Cross Country Championship (GNCC) runner-up drove all night from South Carolina with his mom and grandfather to have a second surgery at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
Baylors season was off to a great start after winning the first five GNCCs and the first four out of 5 AMA National Enduro Series races, not to mention his impressive ride in the X Games Enduro-cross on ESPN. While holding the lead in both the GNCC and AMA Enduro series, he unfortunately fractured his wrist in Indiana and still managed a 10th place finish. At that time, he was told by three different orthopedic surgeons that his season was over.
Not willing to give up the season in May, he consulted with Dr. Michael Maresca, who is well-known in the motocross and cross country world and has taken care of numerous riders including James Stewart, Mike Alessi, Davi Millsaps, Kalub Russell, Phil Nicoletti, Nathan Kanney, Ryan Sipes, and Steve Hatch.
Baylor drove 17 hours to Potsdam, underwent a three-hour surgery to pin his navicular bone in the wrist and returned to South Carolina that same day. To enable him to continue racing, Baylor was given local anesthetic, over the counter pain relievers, and mild therapy. He missed one race out of two series and came in third place within three weeks after leaving the hospital.
On. November 1, just two days prior to the final GNCC race of the year, where he held a slim 3-point lead, Baylor unfortunately, fractured his clavicle. At that time, he had already clinched the Enduro title championship and with the prior weeks GNCC win, he moved back into the GNCC point lead going into the last race.
Baylor immediately called Dr. Maresca and Dr. Luc Perrier, who guided him through the acute fracture setting. He was able to finish the three-hour grueling race with a fractured clavicle and a pinned navicular, which by this time the doctors stated was planned to have a bone graft. He did heroically finish fouth in that final race, which allowed him to become runner-up for the GNCC title. That, combined with the AMA title, made him the most sought after off-road rider in the country. He has signed a three-year deal with Factory KTM out of Austria.
On Tuesday, Baylor underwent a second three-hour surgery at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where Drs. Perrier and Maresca plated his clavicle and grafted his previously pinned navicular. Having the surgery now will allow Baylor ample time to recover and heal before the season reopens in February.
Dr. Maresca and Dr. Perrier, as well as Canton-Potsdam Hospital and the other orthopedic surgeons here, offer unique and personalized healthcare. They are athletically minded and have a keen understanding of a professional athletes needs. Their expert care allowed me to complete a critical season in my career and I am immensely grateful. If not for them, I dont know what would have come of my career, said Baylor.
We completely trust Drs. Maresca and Perrier with Stewards career, according to Mrs. Baylor, Stewards mom. We owe both of them our gratitude. Their expertise assures that Steward can continue to live his dream of ridingand now become a part of a Factory team, which we were told was impossible when he broke his navicular mid-season.
Dr. Perrier said It is always a challenge to take care of athletes like Steward, who practice a sport as challenging and demanding as motocross racing can be. The demand these athletes put on their body is extreme at times and results in many injuries. They do not want to be distracted during a race by pain and weakness that could not only affect their performance, but in the case of that specific sport, put their life at risk.
Dr. Maresca stated that Baylor had everything to lose if he didnt race. He was at a turning point in his career and he had to ride. He knew and understood that we would likely have to perform a second surgery after the season ended in order to rebuild his wrist. Dirt bike riders are tremendously tough individuals. We put the wrist together the first time and just prayed that it would hold up and he could tolerate the pain. Both occurred. He deserves the credit here. He made all the sacrifices and has a tremendous amount of heart.
Dr. Maresca and St. Lawrence Radiology Associates are no strangers to complex and high-profile cases. The New York Fire Department (NYFD) awarded them a contract to monitor the healthcare of 9/11 survivors and the entire New York City Fire Department.
Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, one of the largest and most respected independent radiology practices in the country, also consults and uses the services of St. Lawrence Radiology.
Twelve other radiology facilities around the country continue to use the Maresca network to meet their radiology needs. In upstate New York, this number includes Canton-Potsdam, Massena Memorial, E.J. Noble of Gouverneur, Clifton-Fine, Lewis Country General, Auburn Community, and Cortland Memorial hospitals.