The management of the acute tibial fracture is controversial, since no single method is appropriate in all circumstances and treatment indications often overlap. Given the potential problems in the management of this often difficult fracture, it is important that the attending clinician be familiar with both operative and conservative methods of treatment. In recent years, operative intervention has become increasingly popular, particularly the use of the intra-medullary locking nail, but such techniques are not without complications, including delayed union, non-union, malunion and infection. The authors strongly believe that conservative treatment remains an important option in the treatment armamentarium. A plastering technique is therefore described which is easy to perform, maintains good reduction and avoids the need for skilled assistance, excessive analgesia or an anaesthetic. It can be performed when the patient is initially assessed in the accident department, and it has a definitive role in the treatment of closed tibial fractures.