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Recent progress in quantitative ultrasound (QUS) has shown increasing interest toward measuring long bones by ultrasonic guided waves. This technology is widely used in the field of nondestructive testing and evaluation of different waveguide structures. Cortical bone provides such an elastic waveguide and its ability to sustain loading and resist fractures is known to be related to its mechanical properties at different length scales. Because guided waves could yield diverse characterizations of the bone's mechanical properties at the macroscopic level, the method of guided waves has a strong potential over the standardized bone densitometry as a tool for bone assessment. Despite this, development of guided wave methods is challenging, e.g., due to interferences and rnultiparametric inversion problems. This paper discusses the promises and challenges related to bone characterization by ultrasonic guided waves.