The aim of the present study was to analyze the influence of low-level laser radiation at wavelengths of 660 and 808 nm in an experimental model of osteoarthritis (OA). The sample was composed of 36 male adult Wistar rats divided into three groups (G1, G2 and G3). For the induction of cartilage injury, three injections of 4% papain and 10 μL of a cysteine solution were performed at right knee of the hind leg. Two weeks after the last injection, group G1 was treated with InGaAlP (660 nm, 100 mW, 3.57 W cm−2, 40 s) and G2 was treated with AsGaAl (808 nm, 100 mW, 3.57 W cm−2, 40 s) both with energy of 4 J. There were significant differences in the type of squamous epithelium between days 7 and 14 in G2 (P < 0.05) and on day 14 between G1 and G2 (P < 0.05). Moreover, statistically significant differences were found in the formation of new blood vessels between G1 and G3 on days 7 and 21 as well as between G2 and G3 on day 21. The formation of fibrotic tissue was greater in G3 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, laser therapy, especially at a wavelength of 808 nm, stimulated angiogenesis and reduced the formation of fibrosis in an experimental model of OA.