MICHAEL J Fox secretly had surgery to remove a "painful" tumor in his spine in 2018.
The 59-year-old Family Ties actor – who is battling Parkinson's – revealed he spent four months learning how to walk again.
Doctors said Michael's noncancerous tumor – which was causing him "horrible pain" – was "growing rapidly".
"I was heading for paralysis if I didn’t get it operated on,” the father-of-four told People.
The tumor “was constricting the [spinal] cord, so they had to be very careful in removing it so they wouldn’t do further damage,” he explained.
The surgery was successful and Michael went about learning to walk again.
The Back To The Future star then went on holiday with his wife and their kids and returned to New York alone so he could shoot a cameo in a Spike Lee film the next day.
However, things went from bad to worse as the next morning, Michael fell in his kitchen and broke his arm.
“That was definitely my darkest moment,” the actor said.
“I just snapped. I was leaning against the wall in my kitchen, waiting for the ambulance to come, and I felt like, ‘This is as low as it gets for me.’"
Michael – who was been praised for his optimistic outlook on his health since going public with his Parkinson's diagnosis in 1998 – said he felt there was no way to look on "the bright side".
He recalled: "It was when I questioned everything. Like, 'I can't put a shiny face on this. There's no bright side to this, no upside. This is just all regret and pain.'"
The Good Wife star was able to regain his positive mentality while watching TV reruns – particularly of '70s game shows – while recovering in bed for long periods of time.
He said the key to getting his optimistic perspective back is optimism and gratitude.
Michael, who will turn 60 next June, said he now has a "60-year-old man’s optimism” and is focusing his time on his family.
The Designated Survivor star married Tracy Pollan in 1988 and they share son Sam, 31, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, both 25, and daughter Esmé, 19.
He was diagnosed with the onset of Parkinson's – a long-term degenerative disorder of the nervous system – in 1991 aged 29, but kept his condition secret for seven years.
He was told by doctors at the time that he only had ten years of working left before his condition would have deteriorated too much.
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