The invention generally concerns a spine stabilization system having one or more flexible elements having an opening or slit. The flexible element may be integrally formed in a rod having ends capable of receiving fasteners. The flexible element may limit rotation, flexion-extension, or lateral bending of the spine. The slit or opening may form helical pattern on the rod, and more than one slit or opening may be provided. The flexible element may be conformable to the natural spinal movement.