Traditional methods of bone analysis (both metric and topographic) are restricted to external characters. Spacial distribution of material is, however, equally critical to an understanding of a bone's function. Dynamic testing to determine whole bone strength can only be performed on fresh specimens. Methods for the calculation of both bending and torsional strength of other specimens (such as preserved or fossil bones) are developed in this paper. In order to illustrate the methods, the functional significance of tibial shaft cross sectional variation is investigated.