He underwent six hours of surgery – which involved having a metal rod put in his back.
The music mogul admitted he “couldn’t have gotten through” the trauma without girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 43, and son Eric, seven, who, Cowell said, called him “iron man” when he first saw his father with metal rods in his spine following surgery.
Cowell is now preparing to make his comeback to talent show America’s Got Talent. He missed much of the last season of the show due to his injury.
Speaking on Extra TV, Cowell said: “It could have been a lot worse. When I saw the X-ray, I really nearly could have smashed my spine to pieces, so I literally wouldn’t have been able to walk.”
Talking about the moments after the crash, he added: “I knew I’d broken my back the minute I landed. It was really, really kind of sudden and it hurt.
“You’re not supposed to move. I was thinking: ‘I’ve got to get back into the house because I can’t lie there’… and made myself kind of get carried into my bedroom, which is right there at the beginning of the house... And I’m lying there and I’m kind of passing out… It was surreal.”
Cowell was speaking to his ex-partner Terri Seymour on Extra. The pair have remained close despite not being together. He said: “In fact, you and Lauren [Silverman] were outside the hospital all night long, I remember.”
Seymour said: “Lauren was amazing, running around after you, nursing you back to health.”
Cowell agreed: “She [Lauren] was amazing.”
“Both her and Eric, they were like my support. I couldn’t have gotten through it without them, so we got closer.”
The music mogul said he felt better than ever.
He told People: “I’ve got to be honest with you, it wasn’t that bad actually breaking your back. I mean it wasn’t great for three-to-four weeks but after that you get through it. I had to do so much exercise now. I actually feel better than I did before the accident.”
He then joked “if you want to feel healthier, break your back,” adding the America’s Got Talent team “had a better time without me”.
Producers on the TV talent show said they will host a final “last chance” virtual audition in March, with the best acts advancing to perform in front of the judges.
A premiere date for season 16 of America’s Got Talent will be announced later, NBC said.
While the US version of Cowell’s show is going ahead, it was announced last month Britain’s Got Talent will not take place in 2021 due to the pandemic.
ITV said the programme was pulled from the schedules in order to safeguard “the wellbeing and health of every person involved”.