Katie Consultation

Katie Vodanovich

Capital Podiatry Centre, a Resonance Partner

I am a passionate and experienced sports and musculoskeletal rehabilitation specialist who strives to improve the health outcomes of my patients and deliver a unique and professional approach to patient-centred, personalised care; underpinned by an ethic of excellence and collaboration. My business’ purpose is to inspire and connect, to engender trust and feel comfortable; my staff and I believe these values can enable positive change for all we meet. When I’m not in the clinic, I inspire my daughters’ to smash those glass ceilings! And when I get a moment to myself, I enjoy working out, getting stuck into a good book, and love a bit of retail therapy.

Why did you choose podiatry?

I left high school not knowing what I wanted to do; I was lucky enough to spend some time overseas – attending the Hobie Catamaran Worlds in Mexico and then spending time as a sailing instructor with Camp America. I realised then I wanted to work in healthcare as I wanted to help people; I enrolled late to the Health Science course at AUT, but immediately knew Podiatry was where I wanted to end up – as a child, I wore orthotics, but it wasn’t until the age of 15 years and being a very active kid, I suddenly was unable to run without knee pain. Mum and Dad took me to Wakefield Sports Medicine, and I saw both a sports podiatrist and physiotherapist whom took a multidisciplinary approach, and with strengthening my glutes and core, alongside new shoes and orthotics I was back running without pain.

Q. Who has been your main inspiration in podiatry?
A. Lisa Whiteman; I met Lisa a year into my career – Jennifer Pelvin (ex-CEO Podiatry NZ) gave me her details, so I emailed her on a whim to see if she had a job for me. I told her my hopes and dreams, including one day owning my own business – not long after I was working for her and have never looked back. She has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and do things I never thought I would, and learn and discover so much about myself, what makes me tick and why and how I do the things I do. She has helped me become the clinician I am today, inspiring me to be better for my patients and helping me achieve my dream of owning my own business. She has helped me grow my business within the Resonance group and helped teach me to be kind to myself, to look after myself, to be a better mentor to my staff and business colleagues, and helped my communication with myself, my family, my friends and my business networks.
Q. What is the most common condition you treat?
A. It truly is so varied, but seems to also come in waves! I only see biomechanical patients, I see a lot of metatarsalgia (with any number of specific presentations and diagnoses), heel pain, medial or lateral ankle pain, MTSS, and knee or hip pain.
Q. What has been the most unusual condition you have seen?
A. “Post-traumatic isolated contracture of EHL after fracture of distal tibia and fibula.” It was such a bizarre case; I met this patient 2 years ago now, and she is still under my care. She fractured her distal tib/fib in a fall tramping and underwent ORIF of the ankle. Following this, she noticed her big toe behaving oddly. When her ankle was in a dorsiflexed position, the hallux would plantarflex; and when the ankle was in a plantarflexed position, the hallux would dorsiflex. We found some literature that explained its very rare nature, and the surgeon performed an EHL lengthening procedure which had some success, but the pulley system phenomena still exist 2 years later. MRI at the time showed compartment syndrome with necrosis of the distal lower leg with damage to the deep peroneal nerve – all of which was listed as a cause in the trauma case report we found.
Q. What is your favourite treatment that gets the best result?
A. I would probably say in fact I love a good diagnostic strapping – it is such a great way to get a lot of information. Such as, if we can in fact reduce their pain, and how we might be able to the replicate and achieve that with the likes of an orthotic. I apply my strapping in many ways – a standard low dye, a reverse low dye, either with or without crossing the ankle joint, and with or without felt forefoot padding.
Q. What advice would you give your newly qualified self?
A. I would probably tell myself to do the same all over again – to be honest – I’m not one to shy away from speaking up, and not one to shy away from conflict and to challenge the status quo, and I think I did a pretty good job of that and I think that has put me in the position where I am today. So, to any newly qualified podiatrist – I think I’d say stand on the shoulders of giants, learn what you can and don’t be afraid to question and ask, “Why?” Also, if you want to be good at something, then you have to put the work in, read what you can, expose yourself to learning opportunities and embrace being uncomfortable, it’s hard being uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to grow.
Q. What are you most proud of in your career?
A. Opening my new Centre of Excellence clinic! We have now been in our purpose-built space for 6 weeks – it has been in the works for many years and started to really come to fruition about 18 months ago when I embarked on looking for a new space to have my dream clinic come to life. We also underwent a rebrand and have gone from a team of three to a team of six. It is still very surreal that I have achieved what I have, but I am so proud of myself, and my team for what we have done, and our patients also love it!
Q. What would people be surprised to know about you?
A. I hate my own feet being touched! It’s a sure-fire way for my husband to annoy me haha.
Q. What’s the funniest thing that has happened with a patient?
A. About 10 years ago, I was handwriting out some exercises for a patient, including one for his hip flexors; I was supposed to have written “pelvic tuck”, but unfortunately, my “T” looked more like an “F”. Fortunately, the patient had a great sense of humour, and we all had quite the giggle.
Q. What can a new podiatrist do to connect with the profession?
A. I think attending as many workshops, events, and conferences as they can. I also recommend finding a mentor and learning everything you can from them, but also challenging their thoughts and forging your own.
Q. Who’s the most famous person you have treated, you are allowed to mention?
A. Without naming names, an ex-mayor of Wellington and a number of the Wellington Phoenix Mens’ and Womens’ football players.