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Avera Medical Group Rheumatology

Plaza 2
1301 S. Cliff Avenue, Ste. 300
Sioux Falls, SD 57105


Avera Medical Group Rheumatology

If you have any of these conditions or symptoms, schedule an appointment immediately by calling 605-322-6625.

Rheumatic Conditions and Services

Our board certified physicians are devoted to providing assessment, diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks various parts of the body, such as joints, leading to inflammation and damage. Some of the rheumatic conditions we treat include:


Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes joint inflammation. Our specialized gout team will see patients on the third Thursday of each month.

Learn more about gout and our clinic

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.


RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected.

The disease often begins slowly, usually with only minor joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue.

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Wegener's Granulomatosis

Wegener's granulomatosis is a rare disorder in which blood vessels become inflamed, making it hard for blood to flow.


Frequent sinusitis is the most common symptom. Other early symptoms include a fever that continues without an obvious cause, night sweats, fatigue, and a general ill feeling (malaise).

Chronic ear infections are common. Other upper respiratory symptoms include nose bleeds, pain, and sores around the opening of the nose.

Loss of appetite and weight loss are common. Skin changes are also common, but there is no one typical lesion associated with the disease.

There may be symptoms of kidney disease. The urine may be bloody.

Eye problems develop in many people with Wegener's granulomatosis. The eye problems range from mild conjunctivitis to severe swelling of the eye.

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Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs. It is a type of autoimmune disorder, a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.


Some types of scleroderma affect only the skin, while others affect the whole body.

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Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon, also called Raynaud syndrome or disease, is a condition where blood vessels in the fingers and toes -- and sometimes in the earlobes, nose, and lips -- narrow and cause the skin to turn pale or patchy red to blue. The affected body part may feel numb and cold. It is usually triggered by cold or stress.

Episodes come and go and may last minutes or hours. Women are five times more likely to have Raynaud’s than men. It usually happens between the ages of 20 - 40 in women and later in life in men. When it happens by itself, it's called primary Raynaud's. It can also happen along with another conditions, such as scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. In that case, it's called secondary Raynaud's.

Although some cases may be severe, very often Raynaud's does not cause permanent damage.


  • Changes in skin color in the fingers or toes and sometimes in the nose, legs, or earlobes. Skin may turn white, blue, then red
  • Throbbing, tingling, numbness, and pain
  • Rarely, deterioration of the pads on fingertips or toes
  • Rarely, gangrenous ulcers near fingertips

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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder involving pain and stiffness in the shoulder and usually also the hip.


The most typical symptom is pain and stiffness in both shoulders and the neck. This pain usually progresses to the hips, and there is fatigue too. It becomes more and more difficult for patients to get around.

Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjogren syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed, causing dry mouth and dry eyes. However, the condition may affect many different parts of the body, including the kidneys and lungs.


Dryness of the mouth and eyes are the most common symptoms of this syndrome.

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Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that often occurs with psoriasis of the skin.


The arthritis may be mild and involve only a few joints, especially those at the end of the fingers or toes.

In some people the disease may be severe and affect many joints, including the spine. When the spine is affected, the symptoms are stiffness, burning, and pain, most often in the lower spine and sacrum.

People who also have arthritis usually have the skin and nail changes of psoriasis. Often, the skin gets worse at the same time as the arthritis.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term disease that involves inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis.

These joints become swollen and inflamed. Over time, the affected spinal bones join together.


The disease starts with low back pain that comes and goes.

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Temporal Arteritis

Temporal arteritis is inflammation and damage to blood vessels that supply the head area, particularly the large or medium arteries that branch from the neck and supply the temporal area.

If the inflammation affects the arteries in your neck, upper body and arms, it is called giant cell arteritis.


  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • General ill feeling
  • Jaw pain that comes and goes or occurs when chewing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck, upper arms, shoulder, and hips
  • Throbbing headache on one side of the head or the back of the head
  • Scalp sensitivity, tenderness when touching the scalp
  • Vision difficulties
    • Blurred vision
    • Double vision
    • Reduced vision (blindness in one or both eyes)
  • Weakness, excessive tiredness
  • Weight loss (more than 5% of total body weight)

Systemic Lupus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that may affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.


Symptoms vary from person to person, and may come and go. Almost everyone with SLE has joint pain and swelling. Some develop arthritis. Frequently affected joints are the fingers, hands, wrists, and knees.

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Systemic Vasculitis

Necrotizing vasculitis is a rare condition that involves inflammation of the blood vessel walls.


Fever, chills, fatigue, or weight loss may be the only symptoms at first. However, symptoms may be in almost any part of the body.