Top cross-country motorcycle racer from South Carolina comes to Canton-Potsdam Hospital for treatment of injuries
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 6:34 am

Dr. Luc Perrier, Orthopedic Surgeon; Steward Baylor; and Dr. Michael Maresca, Radiologist and President and Founder of St. Lawrence Radiology Associates, P.C.

POTSDAM – One of the top cross-country motorcycle racers has been relying on treatment 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 recently to have a second surgery at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

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 C-PH.

Baylor’s season was off to a great start after winning the first five GNCC events and the first four out of five 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 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 of C-PH, himself well known in the motocross and cross country world, who 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 of leaving the hospital.

Recently, just two days prior to the final GNCC race of the year, where he held a slim three-point lead, Baylor fractured his clavicle.

At that time, he had already clinched the Enduro title championship and with the prior week’s GNCC win, he moved back into the GNCC point lead going into the last race. Baylor immediately called Maresca and Dr. Luc Perrier, who guided him through the fracture setting.

He was able to finish the three-hour race in fourth place with his fractured clavicle and pinned navicular, giving him runner-up honors for the GNCC title. That and the AMA title made him the most sought-after off-road rider in the country. He has signed a 3-year deal with Factory KTM of Austria.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Baylor underwent a second three-hour surgery at C-PH where 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,” aid Baylor. They are athletically minded and have a keen understanding of a professional athlete’s needs. Their expert care allowed me to complete a critical season in my career and I am immensely grateful. If not for them, I don’t know what would have come of my career.”

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.”

Maresca said that Baylor had everything to lose if he didn’t 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”.

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.