I've got to agree with you there. I remember walking into a Rheumatology appointment and without any images or blood work, I was criticized for taking his time because if I had AS, I would be bent over with a fused spine. He was supposedly one of the best in that area at the time....wrong! Unfortunately because of those comments in my file, I couldn't get another referral.
That was in 1987 and thankfully things have changed considerably but still, that initial diagnose was breath taking and with it, I walked away after being humiliated as one, as I didn't want to believe I had it and two, didn't want to be so to speak on trial to beg for help.
As far as the Grade 2 or above, I have what appears to be Grade 3 (bilateral clear erosion and narrowing) but was told it's just OA....that with years of symptoms wasn't sufficient for the last Rheumy...lots of folks that could use better training before dismissing a diagnosis.
In 2010, I fell down a small flights of brick stairs and ripped the tendons from my left foot. Although told it would heal on it's on (6 weeks in a boot cast). It has never been since (unbearable pain that limits the time I can be on my feet, movement and I have to wear tight socks all the time to prevent the pain and it's in some of my toes as well). A GP said it sounds like enthesitis and another said, it could be. Not sure what to do with that but I do know the pain can be out of control.