Scripps Networks Interactive
Emily Strohm
November 17, 2016 12:47 PM

When Lara Spencer underwent hip replacement surgery, she had no idea it would go as smoothly as it did.

On Aug. 13, she went in to have her right hip replaced, but Spencer stayed awake during the entire procedure.

“They don’t put you under,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “They give you an epidural like they do when you have a baby. They literally stand you up and make you walk three hours later because they want you back on your feet moving.”

Ecstatic about her fast-paced healing now, Spencer was initially shocked when she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia during a routine doctor appointment. The Good Morning America co-host mentioned what she thought was a pulled groin muscle during an appointment in April, but an MRI later revealed she needed a hip replacement.

“I thought I was way too young,” she says. “I didn’t want to face it.”

  • For more on Spencer’s hip replacement surgery pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

But after going public with the news in the hopes of helping others dealing with the same issue, Spencer couldn’t be happier about her progress and the chance to share her story.

“It’s amazing what they can do now,” she says, of the 3.5-in. scar on her hip. “I want to demystify it. ”

As a former Penn State competitive diver, who remains an avid runner and tennis player, Spencer says, “This isn’t an old person’s problem, it’s an active person’s problem,” she says.

Good Morning America airs weekdays (7–9 a.m. ET) on ABC.

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