menu ☰
menu ˟

Feasibility and tolerability of bone impact microindentation testing: a cross-sectional, population-based study in Australia

22 Dec 2018


The OsteoProbe measures Bone Material Strength Index (BMSi) of cortical bone in living humans using impact microindentation (IMI). Research using this minimally invasive technique is expanding yet, to-date, there have been no reports about its feasibility in the research setting. In this study, we assessed the feasibility and tolerability of using the OsteoProbe in men enrolled in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study.


Cross-sectional analysis of data collected in a population-based study.


Barwon Statistical Division, southeastern Australia, 2016–2018.


For 252 of 345 consecutive participants (ages 33–96 years), BMSi was measured using the OsteoProbe at the mid-tibia. Immediately following measurement, each participant used a Visual Analogue Scale (0–10) to rate the level of discomfort that was anticipated and experienced, their initial reluctance towards the measurement and their willingness to repeat measurement.


Reasons for non-measurement in 92 men were needle phobia (n=8), discomfort after first indentation (n=5), skin infections (n=21), excessive soft tissues around the mid-tibia region (n=56), inability to provide informed consent (n=2). Among 252 men who had IMI measures, the expectation for pain during measurement was low (1.54±1.56), as was actual pain experienced (0.38±0.71). Reluctance to undergo measurement was low (0.34±0.93). All participants indicated a willingness to have the measurement performed again. Mean (±SD) BMSi was 83.0±6.4 (range 62.3–93.0).


In this study, the procedure was well accepted by participants suggesting that IMI testing with the OsteoProbe is feasible in a research setting.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open