By applying a phase-retrieval step before carrying out standard filtered back-projection reconstructions in tomographic imaging, we were able to resolve structures with small differences in density within a densely absorbing sample. This phase-retrieval tomography is particularly suited for the three-dimensional segmentation of secondary osteons (roughly cylindrical structures) which are superimposed upon an existing cortical bone structure through the process of turnover known as remodelling. The resulting images make possible the analysis of the secondary osteon structure and the relationship between an osteon and the surrounding tissue. Our observations have revealed many different and complex 3D structures of osteons that could not be studied using previous methods. This work was carried out using a laboratory-based x-ray source, which makes obtaining these sorts of images readily accessible.