The ability of shear strains to inhibit bony ingrowth was investigated by use of a transcortical porous-coated cylindrical plug implant in a functionally isolated turkey ulna model in which the mechanical loading environment could be accurately controlled and rigorously defined. The distribution of ingrowth at the bone-implant interface was quantified following 8 weeks of in vivo loading consisting of 100 seconds per day of a 20 Hz sinusoidal stimulus sufficient to cause a local peak strain of approximately 100 microstrain in the cortex at the bone-implant interface in four turkeys. A nonuniform but repeatable pattern of bony ingrowth, from 33 ± 6 to 72 ± 6%, (mean ± SE), was observed. The mechanical environment in the vicinity of the bone-implant interface was calculated using a three- dimensional elastic orthotropic finite element model. The general stress- strain state of the bone as predicted by the finite element model was validated in two additional turkeys using four three-element rosette strain gauges, while high resolution moire interferometry was used to determine the mechanical state of the region immediately adjacent to the implant itself. Shear strains and stresses were evaluated at the interface and correlated to the pattern of bony ingrowth circumscribing the implant interface. Linear regressions between ingrowth and both shear strain and shear stress were negative, with the values of R = -0.75 and R = -0.78 (p < 0.001), respectively, indicating significant inhibition of ingrowth where shear components were maximal. These results suggest that the minimization of shear stress and strain components is a major determinant in achieving successful ingrowth of bone into a prosthesis.