Cortical bone is one of the most complex heterogeneous media exhibiting strong wave dispersion. In such media when a burst of energy goes into the formation of elastic waves the different modes tend to separate according to the velocities of the frequency components as usually occurs in waveguides. In this study human femur specimens were subjected to elastic wave measurements. The main objective of the study is using broadband acoustic emission sensors to measure parameters like wave velocity dispersion and attenuation. Additionally, waveform parameters like the duration, rise time and average frequency, are also examined relatively to the propagation distance as a preparation for acoustic emission monitoring during fracture. To do so, four sensors were placed at adjacent positions on the surface of the cortical bone in order to record the transient response after pencil lead break excitation. The results are compared to similar measurements on a bulk metal piece which does not exhibit heterogeneity at the scale of the propagating wave lengths. It is shown that the microstructure of the tissue imposes a dispersive behavior for frequencies below 1 MHz and care should be taken for interpretation of the signals.