A spine stabilization system having one or more flexible elements with tubular structures with openings or slits. The flexible elements may limit rotation, flexion-extension, or lateral bending of the spine. The system also may have a locking mechanism that secures one or more flexible elements in a rigid configuration. A flexible element may be disposed within another flexible element, and the slits may form helical patterns on the tubular structures. The flexible element may be conformable to the natural spinal movement.