This year Performance Tech Motorsports has positioned itself as a catalyst for spine health, wellness and medical technology by bringing together industry partners in the education and business of healthcare.
Driver and spine surgeon Dr. Robert Masson aided Performance Tech Motorsports in opening its racing relationships to the world of modern health science. The crossover, while new to the racing paddock, is uniquely qualified for businesses like Centinel Spine, CardioAccess and Restitute Health, and is positioned to represent the charity organization, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Masson does not just use Performance Tech to educate but to prove that he practices what he preaches and that what he preaches is effective. Through endurance style racing, Masson is proving that spine health is imperative to living an active life and that spine surgery is not the end of an active lifestyle. Masson himself has had spinal surgery and now sports Centinel Spine’s Prodisc C artificial disc product. Having surgery on his own spinal cord injury from a wake boarding accident ignited in Masson a greater passion for spine recovery and “prehab.”
“After my own surgery, while healing and improving my physical shape via fitness training, old degenerative problems started declaring themselves,” Masson said. “I had progressive knee arthritis, low back pain and flexibility problems aggravated by the burden of getting in shape. I actually ended up with a bleeding ulcer and endoscopies from managing the issues with too many anti-inflammatory medications. That pushed me to find a better solution.
Masson’s career and passion begin to cross most obviously when he speaks of being ahead of technology. In motorsports, it is imperative to use the most advanced product on the track. Teams race to better understand innovations making advancements possible. Those advancements lead to better outcomes. Better outcomes are what Masson strives for on track and in patients.
“Being ahead is critical to my personal obsession with progress. Racing is an obvious example to use when speaking on that topic,” Masson said. “A driver on any given weekend wants a better outcome. The preparation for that is in every detail. It is the wheels, the car, the driver, how the driver sleeps or what he eats and even the team’s eating and sleeping habits. These represent a parallel to patient outcome limitations. Every variable is relevant when trying to optimize patient outcomes.
The long list of technology mixed with counter-market thinking brings medical professionals from around the globe through Dr. Masson’s doors. Masson successfully trains surgeons and industry on spine health by following his own passion.
“One of my passions is extreme recovery in spinal surgery. The best sports spine reconstruction product is Prodisc C, the one that’s in my neck from Centinel Spine,” Dr. Masson said. “Products made for rapid recovery translate most completely into functional recovery. We see this at the highest-level performance in sports. We have world-class athletes from many professional sports with these same products in their neck.
Guided by Masson’s passion, Performance Tech has become a spine health inspired team. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship gives Performance Tech the opportunity to educate the nearly one million fans that visit races over the season. Potential and former patients watch Masson take to the track to demonstrate why caring for your spine is essential.
“No question, racing provides a great opportunity to educate the public about spine health and I can demonstrate it as a spinal cord injury patient,” Masson said. “I now can show people what I did when it was my turn to go through spinal surgery. Because of my commitment to fitness, better nutrition, recovery, rest and preparation, at 54, I still ski double black diamonds, play full court basketball with my boys, and now I race prototypes.
“It’s relevant to the public to see what a surgeon does when he has the same issues. Several years ago, while recovering from my neck surgery, I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. I didn’t let this devastate me. I carried on.”