Sounds like gout to me. I have a very similar story to you. I was incorrectly diagnosed similarly to you for 3-4 years before I finally had an acute flare and it was obvious… My Dad has it too. After knowing what I know now, not sure why it wasn’t more obvious to them. As an aside, I am also not sure why they are so stingy with Allopurinol. It is a miracle drug and I, like many, don’t have any side effects.
I saw a rheumotologist during my undiagnosed years – it was not a help. She knew less than my general physician and charged up the wazoo for useless X-rays and MRIs. Your mileage may vary of course..
It will be a long road with some setbacks, but if you’re like me, you can get it under control pretty well and also be aware of the symptoms enough to stave off a major attack. Good luck!!!