Farber's disease is a rare inherited metabolic disorder. It is one of the diseases known as lysosomal storage diseases. These are inherited errors of metabolism that happen as the result of the lack or malfunction of a particular enzyme needed to break down complex chemical compounds in the structures within cells known as lysosomes. In this case, the enzyme that is missing is acid ceramidase. The deficiency of this enzyme leads to the accumulation of a substance known as ceramide and is associated with characteristic symptoms and progressive tissue damage, particularly in the joints, liver, lung, and nervous system.
Farber's disease is usually recognized by the presence of three symptoms: painful and progressively deformed joints, nodules under the skin, and progressive hoarseness. Other organ systems may also be involved. Farber's disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive genetic trait.