Good Morning America host Lara Spencer made an emotional confession on the show Thursday morning: she’s undergoing hip replacement surgery on Saturday.
Because such a procedure is often seen as a province of the elderly, Spencer, 47, felt the need to share her story and shed light on the fact that 10 percent of hip replacement surgeries are done on people under 50 years old.
“It took me a long time,” Spencer said. “In my head I’m 27, so I really waited for a long time before I did anything about it, or told anybody, because it sounds like it’s an old person’s problem, and I just couldn’t believe it.”
The segment featured personal testimony from Spencer, as well as photos of her athletic exploits — she was a competitive diver for Penn State and now loves tennis — and input from her doctors and physical therapists.
“This is not easy, but I think it’s really important to deal with whatever issue comes your way,” Spencer said. “If you don’t talk about it, you can’t fix it, so I’m happy if I can save one person from not having to go through the pain.”
After the segment, Spencer discussed the surgery with her fellow co-anchors. She mentioned that she had a genetic predisposition to the hip ailment, and was open about her fear and nervousness.
“Of course I’m terrified,” Spencer said. “I’m terrified. It was embarrassing to share, but then I realized there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I have a genetic predisposition to this, but if you’re athletic and you move, it’s happening younger and younger.”
“The pain is so chronic,” Spencer admitted later when talking about her attempts to fight through it. “I just want to say to anybody out there who suffers with chronic pain: I feel you. It takes over your life. It affects you emotionally, mentally, physically. You cannot sleep. It’s hard to think about. It’s gnawing at you all the time. And what I wish I would have done is just taken care of this sooner.”
Rehabilitation for such a surgery takes approximately 3-6 months.
Watch the segment below.