A compact MRI system for measuring the trabecular bone (TB) microstructure of the finger using a high-field-strength (1.0T) permanent magnet was developed. The entire system was installed in a 0.6 m × 1.2 m space. One male and 36 female subjects participated in the imaging experiments. The TB of the distal phalanx of the middle finger was imaged at a voxel resolution of (160 μm)3 using a three-dimensional (3D) driven equilibrium spin-echo (SE) imaging sequence (imaging time = ˜14 min). The image data sets obtained yielded two distinct peaks for the bone and marrow in image intensity histograms when no motion was present. The structural parameters obtained through 3D image analysis show that this compact system is potentially useful for evaluating bone quality. Magn Reson Med 57:272–277, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.