What to Give a Friend Who is Recovering from an ACL Reconstruction

What to Give a Friend Who is Recovering from an ACL Reconstruction

If you’ve never torn your ACL, or even if you have, it can be hard to watch a loved one go through the mental and physical wear and tear of the injury. Seeing our friends suffer without an idea as to how to ease the pain is an incredibly helpless feeling. We can bring them endless amounts of candy and cards, but at the end of the day, these gifts, while very thoughtful, are a very temporary fix to a long term recovery. There are, however, some gifts that can be useful throughout the entirety of the almost yearlong recovery and can do a lot for a recoveree’s mental and physical wellbeing.


Even if they aren’t an avid writer, they’re going to need an outlet. A journal can be the perfect form of stress relief. During the first few months of the recovery process, it’s easy to slip into a “slump” or mild (sometimes severe) form of depression. Athletes are accustomed to a certain level of daily physical activity. They’re challenged every day and used to working towards a goal. Without the ability to walk for the first few weeks, and run for the first few months, it’s hard for the body- especially the mind-to receive a decent amount of stimulation. Writing in a journal can help release some of this pent up frustration and stress. Be sure that the design of the journal appeals to their personality and taste. This will inspire them to start writing and make use of your gift.

Make a Video

A video can be useful throughout the entire recovery process. With friends, family, and teammates, create a video that will inspire and motivate. Don’t necessarily a recoveree what they’re missing out on, but rather what they have waiting for them at the end of this road. Be sure that the entirety of the video is positive and uplifting. Make them smile. Another idea is to create a few videos. One for their hardest days, one for when they need motivation, and one they need to be reminded of their talents. Creating a series can help with every mood that comes with the process and remain useful until they find themselves back doing what they love.


Subscriptions are a great idea because they are recurring. They’re literally the gift that keeps on giving! Magazines are always a good idea. Be sure to make certain that the publication is appealing to them and will keep their interest on a monthly basis. Athletic wear subscriptions are a great idea, too! They’re going to need workout gear for physical therapy and getting back into their fitness regime, and gear can often help motivate and excite athletes to keep moving. And of course, everyone loves food. There are a ton of healthy food subscriptions out there. Who doesn’t love getting food on a monthly basis? Especially if it’s healthy?

Join the Club

Helping a recoveree get involved with THE ACL CLUB is a great gift. This club is unique to those who have torn their ACLs and has created a community of current and retired athletes who know the process, can offer advice, and share their stories. Introducing your friend or teammate to this community can help dramatically with their mental wellbeing and offer a safe and understanding space to vent and find solace in those who can relate on a personal level. The club is on many social media platforms, offering a variety of ways to get connected. Friends don’t let friends suffer alone, have them join THE ACL CLUB and inspire them to show their scars with pride. Send them a tee, sweatshirt, or Membership Kit to help remind them they aren’t alone, that the whole ACL CLUB is supporting them throughout the journey back to full health.

Most of all, just being there for your friend when they are going through the journey back to full health. Sometimes that means just listening as they vent their feelings -- you don’t even have to say anything back but by allowing them to vent it is helping them rid their mind and body of emotions that can hinder the recovery process. A good laugh and some distraction techniques (movies, going on walks, fun activities) are also welcome.

All of us who have torn our ACL are thankful for our family and friends who stood by us throughout the process - our real life crutches, holding us up when we need it. So THANK YOU!

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