Leyton Hewitt has undergone radical surgery, as he bids to rise back up the rankings and prolong his career.
The Australian has had two screws and a metal plate inserted into the big toe of his left foot to permanently lock it in to place.
The toe has become chronically arthritic after years of digging into hard courts whilst he performs his serve and has now been reconstructed and fused to take away the pain.
The former world number is ranked 137 in the world going into the French Open which starts on Sunday. He faces Blaz Kavcic in the first round before a potential second round clash with world number one Novak Djokovic.
Hewitt's manager, David Drysdale, is optimistic that the former Wimbledon and US Open champion will be able to extend his career.
He said: "He has played spasmodically because he has had different injuries over the last three years so in some ways, it has actually protected his body. If anything he might be able to play a little bit longer.
"The aim is certainly to play out the rest of this year and get his ranking up again and then have a good 12 months, hopefully injury free, where he can have another crack at it."