INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Dr. Zacharia Facaros, who joined Indian River Podiatry in September, 2020, credits his upbringing in an immigrant family with shaping the person he is today.
“I am a child of immigrant parents, with a Greek Orthodox background,” Dr. Facaros told Hometown News. “My father emigrated from Greece after high school, initially for political asylum. He left his parents in Greece and found his way to Pittsburgh. My mother was born in Pennsylvania; most of her family was also from Greece. They had left during World War Two.”
Dr. Facaros’ mother was a high school principal in Pittsburgh inner city schools. He says she was a strong influence on his educational path.
“I have three brothers, and we were all instilled with values similar to other immigrant families: hard work ethic, dependability, being professional in whatever we do. Life was hard work from the beginning, like most immigrant families. That upbringing shaped the values I still have today. Knowing how much my family has sacrificed has always driven my brothers and me. Our family really valued hard work and education.”
Dr. Facaros obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 2003. While an undergrad, Dr. Facaros played football. That experience helped form both his approach to work, and his interest in sports medicine, specifically podiatry.
“We were very active in sports, growing up in a small, blue collar city outside of Pittsburgh. Hard work and athletics is a big part of western Pennsylvania. Sports being paramount in our development taught us about working well with others, a team approach, counting on one another.”
Dr. Facaros went to the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, where he graduated in 2007 as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. He underwent a three-year residency training at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center in California, gaining a comprehensive background in foot and ankle non-surgical and surgical care involving reconstructive procedures.
Then Dr. Facaros did an extra year of fellowship training at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, focused on diabetic foot and ankle reconstructive surgery, Charcot deformity correction, plastic surgery techniques, and correction of advanced deformities. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.
Dr. Facaros has lectured and co-authored articles and book chapters, with expertise in foot and ankle trauma, sports medicine, soft tissue and skeletal reconstruction of the diabetic foot and ankle, revisional and post-traumatic foot and ankle surgery, and external fixation and orthobiologics.
“Initially, I was attracted to podiatry because of my sports background,” Dr. Facaros said.
“My fellowship in Texas gave me a lot of hands-on experience with very complicated and technical surgical procedures. I really enjoy doing the more elaborate foot and ankle procedures.”
That extra training in surgery allows Dr. Facaros to treat the patient from initial consultation and routine care through surgery, if needed.
“I’ve always sought to maintain that sports medicine interest, both treatments and surgeries. I’ve been fortunate to have some involvement with high school and collegiate athletic teams to maintain involvement in sports medicine.”
Indian River Podiatry was started by Dr. Nicholas Rutledge 22 years ago. Dr. Michael Mazziotta joined him about nine years ago. Last September, they invited Dr. Facaros, an old school mate of Dr. Mazziotta, to join the practice.
“Dr. Rutledge has been well known for many years as an honorable, stand-up person. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with him. And Dr. Mike Mazziotta and I know one another really well, so I feel very fortunate that they felt highly enough about me to bring me in.”
Dr. Facaros is married, with two young daughters. He feels blessed for having met his wife Rachel. She temporarily paused her career to raise their children, and holds a master’s degree in education.
Dr. Facaros and his family belong to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Pierce. “That helps us maintain the values that we grew up with,” Dr. Facaros said. “We cherish things like the Greek food festivals and want to pass that heritage and culture along to our children.”
“It is important to me to treat people like I would want to be treated. Patients have been kind enough to leave very positive reviews on Health Grades and Google and other platforms.”
Dr. Facaros speaks Greek, and others in the practice speak Spanish.
Indian River Podiatry has two offices with certified podiatric medical assistants. They treat all sorts of foot ailments including bunions, ankle sprains, heel pain, toenail problems, plantar fasciitis, and diabetic foot problems.
The practice offers diagnostic ultra sound testing, digital x-rays, pathology services, and an in-house pharmacy at both office locations. They also carry over-the-counter products for all your foot and ankle needs.
The Vero Beach office is located at 1880 37th St., Suite 4. The Sebastian office is located at 1515 US Hwy 1, Suite 204. To make an appointment at either office or for more information, call (772) 569-0081 or visit www.indianriverpodiatry.com.
Dr. Facaros is also on staff at Sebastian River Medical Center, Grove Place Surgery