Let's assume a few people were stranded in the wilderness and didn't have access to proper medical equipment. One suffers a simple, closed fracture of the tibia right between knee and foot joint due to a fall. One of the stranded people is a surgeon and he has to come up with a way of treating that fracture with very limited equipment and tools (basically nothing but a first-aid-kit and anything that's available in the wilderness). How would he approach that and how high would the wounded person's chances of healing without permanent damage be?

Edit: I'm asking this because I'm currently working on a fictional piece in which exactly this is featured. I already found out from a bit of googling that, in such a case, conservative, non-invasive therapy would be the only feasible approach. Would you do this with an improvised orthesis? Or could you fashion some kind of gypsum-based aid if you had access to that? And how would the reduction of the fracture work? Could you even do that without X-Ray or some other imaging technique? How did people fix broken legs before such things came along? I'd be very grateful for someone who could describe their personal approach at such a procedure in detail, as I'd like to stay as realistic as possible.

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    Welcome to Medical Sciences! Please take the tour and read the help center. For reasons mentioned in this post and in How to Ask, we require some degree of prior research when asking questions. See this list of helpful resources. Please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on this subject, what made you ask this question, and any problems you are having understanding your research. If you found nothing, what did you Google? – Carey Gregory Oct 14 '20 at 17:28
  • @CareyGregory You're right, I'm sorry. I've become to accustomed to the "soft" SE-boards like writing, literature and academia that I've forgotten how to ask good scientific questions. Will edit promptly. – DLCom Oct 14 '20 at 18:06
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    Without an x-ray, how does your surgeon know it's a simple closed fracture? Or even a fracture at all? – Carey Gregory Oct 14 '20 at 18:53
  • Wouldn't that be kind of obvious if the leg had an unnatural bend, but no bleeding occurs? I mean, he probably couldn't tell how complex the fracture was internally, but he should be able to tell that it's a closed tibia fracture, even without X-Ray, no? – DLCom Oct 14 '20 at 20:10
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    @DLCom Fractures often aren't obvious. There isn't necessarily any deformity, especially with "simple" fractures as you described it, nor do all fractures need to be reduced. These are the kinds of things a little prior research would reveal. You might begin by finding out what an EMT would do since they don't have x-rays either. – Carey Gregory Oct 14 '20 at 22:10

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