Cylindrical specimens of bovine subchondral trabecular bone were tested to uniaxial compressive strain levels of 75% to study energy absorption during pore collapse. Stress–strain curves were characterized by macroscopic yield at about 8% strain followed by a significant horizontal pore collapse regime. Energy absorption occurred largely in this postyield regime. Yield strength and energy absorption capacity were found to increase linearly with specimen apparent density. Microstructural analysis of the deformed specimens verified that the mechanism for energy absorption was primarily fracture and buckling of trabeculae. The results suggest that during fracture, the collapse of trabecular bone (and the consequent absorption of energy) serves to attenuate stresses transmitted through the skeleton and thus protect vital structures such as the brain.